Teething Rash: A Super Simple Guide

Article By
Anna
Published On
02 Jan, 2024
Read Time
3 minutes

Are you a new parent dealing with a teething baby and a red, irritated rash around their mouth? Don't worry, you're not alone! Teething rash is a common occurrence that many parents face during their baby's teething process, along with other teething symptoms including dribbling more.

In this super simple guide, we’ll discuss what causes teething rash, how to prevent it, and some easy ways to treat it so that you and your baby can get back to your happy, healthy selves.

What is teething rash?

Teething rash is also known as drool rash and is caused by excess saliva that develops when a baby is teething and irritates their skin. It can sometimes be uncomfortable for babies, but thankfully there are ways parents can help soothe their babies.

Teething rash: Key symptoms

Knowing the key symptoms of teething rash can help you identify the problem early on and take the necessary steps to prevent it from getting worse.

The main symptoms of teething rash include…

  • a red, inflamed rash on the cheeks, chin, neck, or chest
  • chapped or dry skin, especially in the corners of a baby’s mouth
  • small red bumps

Teething rash won’t appear on a baby’s legs, arms or body, and you should always see your GP if your baby develops a rash on their body.

How to treat teething rash

A teething rash can be uncomfortable and irritating, but the good news is that it's usually not serious and can be treated easily at home.

Let’s cover some simple and effective ways to treat teething rash and soothe your baby's delicate skin.

  • Offer them a teething toy to limit the drool that causes a teething rash.
  • Keep their mouth area, chin, and clothes as dry as possible, and pay extra attention to the creases in their neck where drool can become trapped.
  • Apply a barrier cream like Vaseline (petroleum jelly) before you go outside or before bedtime. Your doctor might also recommend an unscented cream or a natural moisturiser like shea butter.
  • Make sure they wear a soft, absorbent bib when feeding to catch excess drool and milk.
  • Avoid excessively wiping or cleaning their face as this can make the rash worse.

If your baby’s symptoms don’t start to improve within a day or two or you notice any other symptoms apart from the rash (such as sores that ooze, blister, or crust) – it’s worth speaking to your GP.

You should always seek urgent medical advice if your teething baby has a fever over 38°C as this can be a sign of other conditions such as croup, a respiratory or urinary tract infection, meningitis, herpes, constipation, or gastroenteritis.

Teething rash causes

Teething rash is usually caused by the excessive drooling and rubbing of a baby’s delicate skin against their clothes. Food, milk, and touching can also irritate teething rash.

At what age does teething rash develop?

Teething begins at different times for each baby, but most commonly starts at around four to six months of age. Typically, excess drooling coincides with when a baby’s first tooth starts to appear or ‘cut’, and so a teething rash may appear at any time in the months when teething starts.

Rashes are common in babies, and like teething rash, some are harmless, but some can be more serious.

Eczema

Teething or drool rash and eczema are both forms of dermatitis, a condition where the skin becomes dry and irritated.

The difference between atopic dermatitis (eczema) and contact dermatitis (such as drool rash) is that eczema is usually a chronic condition that needs to be managed over the long term, while contact dermatitis clears up if you remove the source of the irritation – your baby's saliva.

Hand, foot, and mouth disease

Hand, foot and mouth disease is common childhood illness. It's a virus that presents as a blistery rash on and around a baby’s mouth, hands, and feet. It can also cause mouth sores or a mild fever. 

No, teething should not cause a rash on a baby's arms, legs or back. Any full-body irritations should be looked at by your GP.