Seeing blemishes on your baby’s usually flawless skin can be alarming. Red bumps around the belly button can be caused by several common conditions, such as roseola, yeast diaper rashes and eczema. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, most rashes are harmless and clear up on their own. In some cases, treatment may be required.
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Roseola is so common that most children will get the viral infection before reaching kindergarten age, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. Roseola usually occurs between six months and three years of age, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. Roseola starts as a high fever that can last as long as a week. Once the fever disappears, a rash begins in the abdominal region before spreading to other areas of the body. Because roseola is a viral infection, antibiotics are ineffective. In most cases, the virus needs to run its course.
Yeast Diaper Rash
A diaper rash that goes untreated can easily become a yeast infection, which can appear as a red rash with dots in the diaper area or anywhere skin touches skin, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. The fungus that causes yeast infections lives in warm and moist areas, and yeast diaper rashes can affect boys and girls. The moisture of your baby’s diaper often reaches the belly button area, so be sure to clean and dry this area between diaper changes.
Eczema, also referred to as dermatitis, is a skin condition characterized by itchiness and rashes that can occur anywhere on the body. There is no cure for eczema, and most children grow out of the chronic skin condition. A pediatrician may recommend creams to relieve itching and an antihistamine to help your baby sleep at night. If the dermatitis is caused by a stimulus, such as a household irritant, a mild cortisone ointment will offer relief, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics.
Anytime a rash is present, take steps to avoid harmful irritants, such as harsh soaps, bubble baths, scented moisturizers, and cigarette smoke. Use products formulated for sensitive skin, especially if your baby has had previous rashes. Keep your baby’s skin clean and moisturized. Apply a small amount of petroleum jelly to the diaper region to prevent rashes and the occurrence of yeast, according to BabyCenter.com.
Heat rash, hives or chicken pox can also cause red bumps around the belly button. If your baby is experiencing hives, consider any new foods or medications your baby has recently tried. Consider changing your laundry detergent, fabric softener and baby soaps. Once the stimulus has disappeared, the red bumps should gradually disappear. Red bumps can also signal an infection of the umbilical stump site on newborns. Seek medical attention if the condition worsens.