Having a baby brings many questions and concerns. Knowing what to worry about and when to take action can help you feel more confident and better able to enjoy time with your baby. For instance, rashes on your baby's thighs are common and rarely require immediate medical care, but knowing which rash is which -- and how to treat your baby's skin condition -- can save you time and stress.
There are many ways to describe rashes; knowing the difference can help you describe your baby's rash to her doctor's office. Blisters include red raised spots on the skin that have clear liquid inside the bumps. Other types of rashes include lacy types, which look like a fabric design; pimply, which are red, raised and have white spots; spots, which are colored and flat; welts, raised and partially colored, such as with hives; pustules, which are similar to blisters but have white liquid; and patches, which cover a large area.
Eleven main types of rashes -- excluding diaper rash -- affect children, according to Dr. William Sears, pediatrician, and his wife Martha, a registered nurse. Hives -- raised, dry welts -- could appear on thighs as an allergic reaction, showing up and disappearing within minutes or hours. Eczema produces dry, patchy rashes that can look inflamed and appear behind baby's knees; hydrocortisone is often prescribed. Viruses account for many rashes, but none requires immediate medical care and can wait until the next day for doctor evaluation.
The most common culprit with diaper-wearing babies 8 to 12 months old is diaper rash. The folds of babies' thighs are a common breeding area for this type of rash, which sometimes resembles blisters. Other areas include the buttocks, genitals and lower abdomen -- anywhere the diaper meets your baby's skin. Causes for diaper rash involve changing dietary habits mixed with skin irritants like feces and urine, plus chafing. Care for diaper rash by allowing your baby to air-dry often; also, apply soothing creams with zinc oxide or white petrolatum, shake on cornstarch-based powder, change diapers often and clean the baby with gentle soaps and unscented wipes.
Most rashes do not require a visit to the doctor unless your child is uncomfortable or the rash lasts longer than four weeks, assures Sears. However, one rash called petechiae or purpura does require urgent medical assistance. This rash does not turn white when pressed on as most rashes do, and occurs under the skin, making it flat. The spots look like tiny pinpoints of flat red, or slightly larger-than-pinpoint, purplish-blue spots. Ruptured blood vessels under your baby's skin cause this type of rash, which warrants an emergency room visit if found after hours. Of course, anytime your child behaves as if she is extremely ill, do not hesitate to contact her physician.