Treating and Preventing Pacifier Rash

Some babies use pacifiers frequently and this can lead to rashes around their mouth. These rashes are usually temporary but sometimes stick around for longer periods of time. Babies are known to have random rashes pop up so here are several tips to help you identify and treat pacifier rash.

What is pacifier rash?

Pacifier rash is similar to drool rash and is described as a red raised rash present around the mouth where a pacifier would sit. This rash could be caused by friction caused by the pacifier, but is most commonly caused by drool that gets trapped around the pacifier. It can sometimes look like a few red spots, but also can be patches of red skin. Pacifier rash can look uncomfortable and in some cases downright painful, but it typically goes unnoticed by the baby.

Keep it Clean

The first step in clearing up the rash is keeping it clean. This means sanitizing all pacifiers. Some people prefer to boil them by bringing water to a full boil on the stove and putting pacifiers in one by one. Leave them for 5-10 minutes then carefully remove them and allow them to cool. Make sure to inspect them for any defects or cracks. Some pacifiers can be microwaved to sanitize them. Follow the instructions that came with the pacifier or consult the brand’s website for microwave directions. Also make sure the rash itself stays clean. Use a clean washcloth with warm water to gently pat the affected areas. Do not rub vigorously because that will further irritate the rash. Make sure to dry it thoroughly after cleaning.

Treatment

Discuss what type of cream or lotion is best for your child’s rash with your pediatrician. Your baby’s rash may be mild enough to be treated with a thin layer of gentle lotion like Aquaphor. Or it might require a prescription cream. Once you find a treatment that works for your child make sure to reapply 2-3 times daily until the rash is gone. Limiting pacifier use could also help the rash clear up quickly, but it can be tricky with a baby who is dependent on their pacifier. The rash spreads and worsens when drool is caught behind the pacifier. So you could limit pacifier use to when your baby is trying to fall asleep or is in need of comfort. If your child seems to be drooling a lot remove the pacifier periodically and dry around his or her mouth.