Top Causes (and Solutions to) Milk Rash

Babies are sensitive beings in many ways. Whether they are sensitive emotionally or physically, you must take care to treat your baby’s sensitivities. 

Sometimes, especially as new parents, it is hard to figure out exactly what your baby is sensitive to and why. Many things can cause your baby to break out in hives, rashes, and other skin irritations.

Knowing the most common skin irritations can help you treat your baby properly should these irritations come up. Milk rash is one of the most common skin conditions that very young children will face. Keep reading this article to know more about milk rash and how to treat it!

What is Milk Rash?

Milk rash is otherwise known as Atopic Dermatitis. Despite the name, milk rash is not necessarily caused by breastfeeding or milk in general.

An atopic dermatitis is a form of eczema that can occur in people of all ages. Milk rash is common among infants but can extend into adulthood. The condition most commonly shows itself as red spots located on your child’s cheeks. 

There are many causes of milk rash, but the condition itself is not a severe one. Milk rash is also not a contagious condition. It is easy to treat, but it’s also good to understand why your baby may be experiencing this condition.

What Causes Milk Rash?

Milk rash can occur through genetics. Parents that experience certain types of allergies may end up passing this condition down to their children. For example, if a mother consumes food that can cause allergies(like eggs), her breast milk may result in her child developing a milk rash.

But milk rash can occur from a combination of different factors. Excessive heat may cause your baby to break out, as well as dust, pollen, and scratchy or dirty fabrics. 

It can be difficult to prevent your baby from getting milk rash, as nearly anything can set off a child’s skin reaction. But there are things that you can do as a parent to help prevent the condition from happening in the first place.

How to Prevent Milk Rash?

You can start to prevent milk rash by avoiding anything that may trigger an allergic reaction. If you know that you are allergic to certain things in your life, such as certain foods or animal hair, you should avoid those things as normal.

Eliminate Triggers

A lot of times, allergies can be easily passed down through genetics. If you want to prevent milk rash, treat your baby as though they are allergic to the same things you are. Eliminate known allergy triggers until you have a better idea of what may cause your baby’s skin to flare up.

You can also prevent milk rash by washing baby clothes and blankets frequently. Itchy and dirty clothes can cause your baby’s skin to be irritated. Using a fabric softener can soften clothes and blankets to prevent itchiness. 

Dusting your home or living space can also help prevent skin irritation, as milk rash can also result from any loose allergens floating around in the air.

In general, keeping your home clean and your baby’s clothes soft is a good way to help prevent milk rash. An exceptionally clean home can also help with pinpointing what may be triggering your baby’s milk rash.

How to Treat Milk Rash?

Before you can start to treat milk rash, you must first find out what the cause of your baby’s milk rash is. Once you have figured out the cause, it will become easier to prevent and treat the condition.

For example, if the milk rash is the result of breastfeeding, you can eliminate the consumption of food allergens. These foods can include nuts and dairy products. Keeping a healthy and allergen-free diet is the best way to treat milk rash if breastfeeding is a direct cause of the condition.

However, if breastfeeding is not the cause, you will need to treat the milk rash in other ways.

Don’t Touch!

Once you have been able to identify that your child has milk rash, make sure that you do not scratch their cheeks. While the condition is not contagious, scratching the rash can worsen the condition and cause inflammation. Even worse, constant scratching can cause sores, and bacteria can invade these sores, causing infections.


If your baby is struggling with the itchiness that comes with milk rash, you can use a gentle moisturizer on the skin. Make sure that any lotion or moisturizer that you use is safe for babies and free of fragrances. Regular lotions that are scented can cause further issues and worsen the milk rash.

Lotions and moisturizers should be applied to your baby after a warm bath. Be careful not to use hot water, as hot water can dry up the skin and cause even more itchiness. Use mildly warm water and apply lotion directly afterward for best results.

There are also ointments that are available for helping milk rash. These ointments can soothe inflamed skin. It’s important to check with your primary pediatrician before using ointments, however. 

Ointments can come in varying strengths and can cause damage to the skin of young children if you use one that is too strong. Consulting with your doctor can ensure that you will use the right products for your baby.

Medical Care

There are some cases in which a milk rash can turn dangerous. If any swelling, pus, or fever occurs, a visit to the doctor is the best thing to do. 

Doctors can prescribe an oral medication that can help the infection and the overall condition. These medications can help bring relief to your baby. Depending on how severe the skin condition is, your doctor may recommend different treatments. 

Make sure that you consult with your doctor before introducing any new chemicals or ingredients to your baby’s skin. Doing so can help your baby be as healthy and happy as possible in the long run!

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