Can teething cause eczema? This is a common concern by parents and we will delve into this question. Teething is one of the many factors that can contribute to the aggravation of eczema in children. In this article, we will talk about the relationship between teething and eczema. We will also talk about how to care for teething children who have eczema and what can be done to alleviate some difficulty.

Can Teething Cause Eczema



Can Teething Cause Eczema?

Many parents note the first outbreak of eczema when the baby starts teething. They often attribute teething as a cause of eczema. This is the reason why eczema is often called “teething rash” or “drool rash” in babies.[2]

Several research studies on eczema or teething rash have provided considerable evidence that eczema is not caused by teething. However, teething can aggravate the symptoms in babies who already have eczema. It can also cause eczema flare-ups in babies that have the genetic susceptibility of developing the disease. [3]

Eczema Flare-ups During Teething

Eczema flare-ups can be seen during the teething process in children who have a predisposition to eczema, but not developed it yet. There are many reasons for this including stress and possible changes to the immune system.


The body of the baby undergoes stress during the teething process, which leads to the skin flaring up. This results in severe itching, pain, and further drying of the skin. [4]


Changes in the Immune System

(WARNING: some scientific background. Feel free to skip to next paragraph)

There is one scientific hypothesis possibly explaining why teething children have eczema flare ups. The immune system of the baby undergoes changes during the process of teething. Tooth eruption causes a change in passive immunity to active immunity.  According to this immunological hypothesis, eczema is due to increased Th2 differentiation of naive CD4+ cells, a process indicating increased synthesis of interleukins (IL) and change in the immune system components.   Hence, eczema flare-ups during teething may also be due to these changes in the immune system. [1] [5]

Signs of Eczema Flare-ups

Eczema flare-ups can be easily diagnosed with their characteristic features. They usually appear as dry patches of the skin that are highly inflamed and red in color. These patches are often raised and itchy. A rough-textured scaly white patch can often be seen on the skin as well.

The eczema flare-ups are first seen on the face. They usually appear on cheeks, chin and around the mouth. However, they can also be seen in other areas of the body such as skin folds of the neck and creases. [6]

Teething in Children having Eczema

In many children, eczema may flare-up earlier and can be diagnosed before the beginning of the teething process. In such cases, teething can aggravate the symptoms of eczema and further worsen the condition. This may be due to the following reasons:


Fever that is associated with teething is one reason why teething aggravates the symptoms of eczema in babies. It can manifest as an increase in dryness and itching. [3]


Another culprit that aggravates eczema during teething is drooling. Many parents notice excessive drooling in their children during the process of teething. This excessive drooling may look cute at the beginning, but it can have severe effects on the babies’ skin. [7]

The continuous and excessive saliva from drooling keeps the skin around the mouth wet and moist. This moist surface around the mouth and chin may provide favorable conditions for new rashes to appear. [8]

Taking Care of the Baby

The teething process is essential for the growth of a baby. It is a memorable period of a baby’s life as it is a big milestone, however, the association of teething with eczema may make it a painful time as well for the child.

There are several things to be done that can make the teething process less painful as possible. In this section, we will share with you some tips that you can follow to hopefully bring some relief.

Maintain Good Hygiene of the Baby

This is the most important measure to be adopted in order to preserve the baby from the pain and misery of eczema. The research studies have concluded that the unhygienic conditions play a major role in the development of eczema in children.

Good hygiene for the baby can be ensured by simply cleaning your baby’s skin at regular intervals. After cleaning the skin, pat dry it with a baby towel. The application of a good ointment like Vaseline or Aquaphor around the areas of teething is also very helpful. These products act as a protective barrier against wetness and irritation, which can contribute to eczema flare-ups. [1] [8]

Maintain Good Health of the Baby

As said earlier, fever that accompanies the teething process plays a major role in aggravating eczema. Maintaining good health of the baby by reducing fever can prove beneficial. This can be done by using wet towels on the baby’s skin. A cool bath can also reduce fever. Sometimes Tylenol can be helpful as well. I have found it personally helpful for my child, but as always, consult with your physician before doing so. [8]

Keep the Baby Calm

The stress during the process of teething is another aggravating factor for eczema. During the teething process, you can help your baby by creating a cool and soothing environment around him. The stress can also be managed with teething toys. [8]

Take care of your Baby’s Sleep

If your baby is not sleeping well, this can contribute to the stress of the teething process. As difficult as it is, finding a way to help your baby sleep well at night can help alleviate some of the symptoms. Also, good sleep will help reduce stress, which contribute to flareups. [8]


The teething process is the time when many parents first observe the signs of eczema in their baby. It can cause eczema flare-ups in susceptible babies due to a number of reasons as discussed above. The process of teething can also increase the pain and suffering of a child already having eczema. There are several ways parents can use order to ease their baby during the teething process in children with eczema as discussed above.