An infant’s skin is very tender, supple and smooth. You must be very careful in how you take care of your baby’s skin as it can be very sensitive, especially in the folds near their knees, thighs, armpits, elbows and neck. It is quite common for a skin rash to appear on an infant’s neck. It can appear raised, flat and red. It happens a lot in their folds around the neck. It’s most common around five months and in part because of all the drool. It can be from a range of causes such as prickly heat, infections or fungus.

What Causes Baby Neck Rash?

There are a few different reasons why your baby has a rash on their neck. Some rash types occur in different areas of the neck. There are some rashes that will affect the armpit, diaper area, or thigh. Some common causes include:

Stork Bites

Small spots, pink in color, appearing at birth. These aren’t rashes, but blood vessels that collect near the skin’s sub-layer. They often vanish just a few months after birth.


Prickly Heat

It’s not unusual to have a rash in the heat of the summer, especially around the neck or trunk. This is due to dry heat and the sensitive skin of a child. These rashes look like small, red bumps that are raised. It is commonly called heat rash.


Skin Irritation

Infants have very sensitive skin and often get a baby neck rash in the first few months. Their neck is chubby and plump, making it more prone to irritation. There are often folds on their neck that rub together, causing irritation. They have friction here combined with excessive moisture, causing trouble. It can be a problem until the child learns to lift their head without support.


Fungal Infection

Fungal problems can be common in babies. This is because of all their folds and moisture, giving the perfect home to Candida. Yeast is the most common skin infection in children.

If your baby is mainly eating breast milk, they likely spill some excess milk. This can lead to the moisture around their neck getting a yeast infection.



One common rash cause in newborns and toddlers is Intertrigo. This is often found in those chubby cheeks. When the baby has a hard time holding their head up, there can be an overgrowth of moisture and bacteria, causing a rash. This rash tends to clean up on its own once the baby is holding their head up on their own.


Drool Rash

If you’re baby drools a lot, their rash may be from that. This especially true when they are teething because drool is a symptom of cutting teeth. This is because having a chin and neck that are always wet is irritating. Until your baby is free from this stage, they may have a bit of a rash. Keeping their skin dry and clean is the best way to help this.



Your infant’s skin can be susceptible to allergens. Some will develop a baby neck rash because of the allergy. This can be from detergents being an irritant, shampoos, bath soap or skin products. You should select products with minimal products and soaps made for sensitive skin.

How to Deal with Neck Rash in Babies

Most rashes will go away within a couple of days without treatment. If your child is very uncomfortable from the itching sensations, there are a few things you can do to provide comfort.

Breathable and Light Fabrics

Avoid uncomfortable or stiff fabrics and dressing your baby heavily. Breathable and lightweight fabric is best, especially cotton. If it’s hot out, you can put your baby in just a cotton top and diaper. Don’t use strong detergent or bleach on your baby’s clothes. These chemicals can cause rashes and irritation as well.


Lotion or Skin Cream

Before you use anything on a baby younger than 6 months, you should consult your pediatrician. Some products can cause irritation, or your child could have allergies.



One tried and true method for rash relief is cornstarch. Sprinkle some on after a bath or being outside. This can keep their neck moisture free.


Oatmeal Baths

Try adding oatmeal to your child’s bath. Oat extract can also be soothing to your infant’s skin. Try using a washcloth and place oatmeal in it. Seal it by twisting the washcloth around it. Afterword, soak the oats and cloth in warm water. Squeeze the cloth until the essence comes out. Apply this to your baby’s rash; then pat the area dry.


Apply Cold Compresses

The affected region can benefit from cold compress application. Use a clean washcloth and soak in ice water. Apply to the area for about ten minutes to soothe the inflammation. Pat the area dry. Repeat the procedure as necessary.


Keep Your Skin Clean

It’s important to practice good hygiene and keep your child bathed regularly. This can help prevent and treat your child’s rashes.


Keep to a Bath Routine

It’s a good idea to leave some time in between dinner and bathing so as not to upset their tummy. It’s also good to stick to a routine that includes the same time, soap and toys. This will help you know if there is something that has changed that may be causing a skin irritation.


Distilled or Boiled Water Only

Using distilled or boiled water to bathe your baby can help insure you don’t introduce any bad microbes to their skin. To help soothe their inflammation, add a couple of teaspoons of baking soda to their water. A cup of oatmeal can also be added to help soothe your child’s inflamed skin.


Use Coconut Oil

Another thing that can help your child’s skin feel better is to use coconut oil twice a day to massage their skin. This has antimicrobial properties that can help prevent infection and it keeps the skin soft.

Only use unscented moisturizer on your child’s skin. This can help prevent a heat rash. There may be specific directions but generally a thin layer on your baby’s skin will help.

If your baby has had a rash for more than a couple of days or it doesn’t go away with treatment, you should consult your pediatrician immediately.

How to Prevent Baby Neck Rash

Preventing your baby from getting a neck rash can be much easier than clearing it up once they have one. Here are a few tips to help prevent any rashes:

  • Keep the area dry and clean. When skin is clean and dry, it is far less likely to develop a rash. You only really need to bathe a newborn a few times a week until they can crawl.

  • Pat excess drool away as often as it appears. Drool that is allowed to pool around the neck can cause a rash.

  • Keep your baby’s room cool. Often rashes are heat related, so you may need to provide them with an air conditioner or fan.

  • Directly cool skin when needed. You can apply a cool towel to your baby’s hot skin or give them a cool bath. This will help prevent further irritation or inflammation.

  • Don’t overdress them. Because rashes can be caused by heat, keep your baby dressed appropriately.

  • Make sure their clothes are cotton and breathable. This can absorb moisture and keep your baby’s skin comfortable. It is also hypoallergenic.

  • Keep allergens down. If your baby has food allergies, steer clear. If they have hay fever, prepare for the season or keep them out of the weeds.


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