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Updated on December 28, 2022
5 min read

Teething Rashes

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Can Teething Cause a Rash?

Yes, when babies begin to teethe, they often drool more. Excess saliva may run over their lips, cheeks, and chin, which can irritate their skin and cause a teething rash.

You may first notice a teething rash on the sides of your baby’s mouth, chin, neck, chest, and belly. If your baby is teething, you’ll likely also notice other symptoms, such as:1, 2, 3

  • An increase in drooling or dribbling, whether you see a rash or not
  • More biting and chewing on objects (this can relieve some of the pressure your baby feels)
  • Crankiness, fussiness, or difficulty sleeping
  • A slight rise in body temperature (no higher than 102 degrees Fahrenheit)
  • Swollen gums
  • Refusal to eat, drink, or suckle
  • Rubbing or tugging at their face or ears
  • Diarrhea and/or stomach upset 

Teething Rash Symptoms and Pictures

A teething rash is a kind of eczema or contact dermatitis caused by excess saliva.

Continually wiping saliva away can irritate your baby’s skin. It can also dry it out and strip away the natural oils that keep it healthy.

Symptoms

If your baby has a teething rash, you may notice:

  • Redness, especially around the corners of the mouth
  • Red patches in other areas (cheeks, chin, neck, chest, and/or belly)
  • A chapped or scaly look in the red areas

Teething Rash Pictures

Teething Rash on Face

image 8

The corners of your baby’s mouth, cheeks, and chin are the first areas to come in contact with excess saliva. They’re the places you’re most likely to notice a teething rash develop.

Teething Rash on Baby's Belly

image 9

Saliva can also run over or pool on your baby’s chest and stomach. You may notice red, bumpy, or chapped skin patches in these places, just like the ones near your baby’s mouth.

If your baby uses a pacifier, you may notice a rash in any place that makes contact with the pacifier.

Can Teething Cause Diaper Rash?

A diaper rash isn’t necessarily related to teething, but it is a similar condition and may co-occur. Like a teething rash, a diaper rash is a form of dermatitis (skin inflammation). It’s caused by your baby’s stool irritating the skin on their bottom.

Some medical professionals have associated teething with diarrhea, which can contribute to diaper rash.4 However, seek medical attention if your baby has diarrhea but is not teething.5

Teething Rash Treatment

A teething rash is something virtually every baby will experience, and it generally isn’t anything to worry about. Try the following to reduce or treat it at home:

  • Keep your baby’s mouth and skin dry by gently wiping them with a soft cloth
  • Apply an ointment such as lanolin cream, petroleum jelly, aloe vera, or zinc oxide cream
  • Try over-the-counter (OTC) hydrocortisone cream for more severe rashes
  • Limit pacifier use (if your baby is over 6 months old, consider stopping pacifier use)

Use an ointment or emollient for your baby’s rash, as this will provide a barrier between the skin and saliva.6 A lotion will moisturize the skin but won’t protect it.

Avoid using products with fragrances for rashes, as these could make the irritation worse.

When to See a Pediatrician  

Sometimes more severe conditions can look similar to a teething rash. In rare cases, a teething rash can become infected. 

If you notice any of the following symptoms, contact your child’s pediatrician:

  • Oozing or leaking fluid from your baby’s rash
  • Bleeding
  • Severe crusting or cracking
  • Petechiae (red dots on the skin that don’t turn white when you press on them)
  • Fever
  • Diarrhea that lasts more than a couple of days

How to Prevent a Teething Rash

You can’t always prevent a teething rash. How often and how much your baby drools and their specific skin sensitivity can make them likely to develop a rash at some point.

You can prevent a rash to some extent, however, by doing the same things you do to treat it:

  • Minimize saliva-to-skin contact by gently and frequently wiping your baby’s mouth and chin
  • Apply a safe ointment to lock in moisture and block out saliva
  • Be mindful of your baby’s pacifier use and other behaviors that might spread saliva

Relieving Teething Pain

You can make teething more comfortable for your baby by giving them food or teething toys they can safely bite down on. This can relieve the pressure they feel from the new teeth erupting.

Cold foods and toys work especially well because of the mild numbing effect they provide. Avoid any actual numbing agents, teething toys that can leak, or anything frozen solid.

Holding and comforting your baby will also help them through teething. Try to balance between providing comfort yourself and encouraging your baby to self-soothe.

Summary

When a baby’s first teeth come in, an increase in drooling can cause a rash on the face and sometimes other areas. You’re most likely to notice a teething rash around the corners of your baby’s mouth.

While teething rash and teething aren’t a pleasant experience for you or your baby, they’re usually not a cause for concern. You can comfort your baby as they teethe and minimize the symptoms at home.

Visit your child's pediatrician if you notice more severe symptoms, such as a fever or a rash that leaks fluid.

Last updated on December 28, 2022
6 Sources Cited
Last updated on December 28, 2022
All NewMouth content is medically reviewed and fact-checked by a licensed dentist or orthodontist to ensure the information is factual, current, and relevant.

We have strict sourcing guidelines and only cite from current scientific research, such as scholarly articles, dentistry textbooks, government agencies, and medical journals. This also includes information provided by the American Dental Association (ADA), the American Association of Orthodontics (AAO), and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).
  1. Macknin, Michael L., et al. "Symptoms Associated With Infant Teething: A Prospective Study." Pediatrics, 2000.
  2. Memarpour, Mahtab, et al. “Signs and symptoms associated with primary tooth eruption: a clinical trial of nonpharmacological remedies.” BMC Oral Health, 2015.
  3. Noor-Mohammed, Roshan, and Sakeenabi Basha. “Teething disturbances; prevalence of objective manifestations in children under age 4 months to 36 months.” Medicina Oral, Patología Oral y Cirugía Bucal, 2012.
  4. Ramos-Jorge, Joana, et al. “Prospective Longitudinal Study of Signs and Symptoms Associated With Primary Tooth Eruption.” Pediatrics, 2011.
  5. DenBesten, P. “Is teething associated with diarrhea?” The Western Journal of Medicine, 2000.
  6. Simpson, Eric L et al. “Emollient enhancement of the skin barrier from birth offers effective atopic dermatitis prevention.” The Journal of allergy and clinical immunology, 2014.
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