ZocdocAnswersWhy do some infants get red blotches on their faces when exposed to sunlight?

Question

Why do some infants get red blotches on their faces when exposed to sunlight?

Why would an infant get red blotches on her face when she's exposed to sunlight? I'm a father of a 14 - month - old girl, and I've noticed a blotchiness appearing pretty much every time we walk in the park or do anything else in direct sunlight for more than half an hour.

Answer

Parents often have questions about the health of the skin of their infants. The doctors who are best qualified to discuss this issue with you in greater detail include your pediatrician. Infants have extremely thin, delicate skin. Therefore it is very important to protect it well. Infants can have sunburn reactions even to very short exposures to sunlight, which might be what you are seeing. Making sure to apply a good infant sun screen lotion before every trip outdoors is very important. Another possibility is "prickly heat" or "heat rash." Infants are very susceptible to changes in skin temperature, and overheating of the skin or sweating can cause them to break out in a fine red rash on affected areas of skin that can be uncomfortable. The treatment is to keep the skin clean, dry, and cool. Using clothing that is breathable and made of soft cottons can help, as can the daily application of a gentle baby skin moisturizing cream. As always the diagnosis and the management of your child's particular skin concern would require a physical examination by her pediatrician. Setting up an office visit with your pediatrician if the symptoms persist might be advised.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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