Baby Rashes from A to Z (Acne to Eczema!) and When Is It a Milk Allergy?

Posted 4.18.17 | Nutrition Specialist

What new parent hasn’t asked questions like this: “Where did THAT come from?” Or maybe “Why is she suddenly so ITCHY?” Or even “What ARE all of those little bumps on her head?”

Babies drink what we give them (unless they don’t like it!), wear what we put on them (until they take it off!), and tend to stay where we put them (until they go mobile!). If adults are in control and a baby never leaves our sight, we should have answers to these questions. But almost every new parent comes up against a skin condition that they can’t explain.

As newborn babies grow and develop they can experience lots of different skin conditions. Some are typical, whereas others can be hard to explain. In today’s post, we’re going to walk through some of the most common questions and answers related to baby rashes. Food allergies can play a role in some of these conditions, so we’ll point out where that’s the case. 


Acne is something we associate with teenagers, but it can happen anytime in life. Acne is usually related to hormones, and babies sure do have hormones! Where do babies get hormones, maternal hormones are passed through the womb. Baby acne is harmless and usually goes away within a few weeks.

According to MayoClinic, “Baby acne can occur anywhere on the face, but usually appears on the cheeks, nose and forehead. Baby acne is common — and temporary. There's little you can do to prevent baby acne. Baby acne usually clears up on its own, without scarring.” Read more to learn when to see a doctor about baby acne

Atopic Dermatitis

Atopic dermatitis – which may also be called atopic eczema, involves scaly and itchy rashes that can be over a small or large part of the body. It can be triggered by allergens in the air (pollen, mold, dust mites, or animals), dry skin, or any number of factors. Severity of symptoms varies from one person to another. There’s an association between atopic dermatitis and food allergies, especially in cases of severe atopic dermatitis. At this time, it’s not clear if one causes the other. For infants, atopic dermatitis and cow milk allergy often are linked.

Contact Dermatitis

Contact dermatitis describes a situation where some substance makes contact with the skin and causes it to become red or inflamed. This could be anything from food to laundry detergent or lotions. Your little one’s healthcare team can help you narrow down the possibilities and make changes to remove whatever’s causing this type of dermatitis. If food is a cause, you’ll need to keep your little one from coming into contact with the food and cosmetics with ingredients from that food. Symptoms and treatments of contact dermatitis.

Diaper Rash

Diaper rash happens when a rash occurs on parts of the skin in contact with diapers. Some causes include having wet diapers on for too long, when the infant has diarrhea, or diapers are too tight. Rash can also be caused by introduction of new products to clean, for example if you are using cloth diapers. Symptoms and treatments of diaper rash.


Eczema is a generic term for any dermatitis or skin swelling or itching. It’s often used to describe atopic dermatitis – see above! Read over a story of Morgan and his food allergy related eczema.


Hives, also called urticarial, are red, itchy bumps on the skin, often caused by an allergic reaction to a food or a drug. Hives can vary in size and can at times connect with one another to create a larger swelling. They often go away within 24 hours, but are still no fun. It’s important to avoid whatever substance or food triggers hives. Symptoms and treatments of hives.


A rash is a generic term that describes some sort of itchiness or irritation of the skin. Your doctor would be the best resource to look and narrow down what a rash represents and what might be causing it. For little onces, their pediatrician may decide to refer you to an allergist and/or a dermatologist.

When is a Rash a Milk Allergy?

Baby Rash

You should always refer to your pediatrician to help you understand what is causing your little one’s rash, but it’s also important to look at the big picture. Sometimes a baby with a cow milk allergy will also display other symptoms in addition to the rash. For instance, you may also see symptoms of diarrhea, vomiting, gassiness, wheezing, runny nose, and/or colic.

If you do see a rash accompanied by any of these other symptoms, make sure to keep detailed notes and share all symptoms with your little one's doctor so that the healthcare team has all of the information to get to the bottom of what might be happening.

Also, make sure to work with your pediatrician to come up with a plan for taking care of your baby’s skin – no matter what is triggering the rash, it is important to take possible steps to alleviate the rash and any discomfort. Some possible steps your little one's doctor might suggest include:

  • Bathing your baby in soothing lukewarm water
  • Avoiding scented soaps, bath oils, and perfumed powders
  • Applying an over-the-counter moisturizer to your baby’s skin
  • Keeping your baby’s fingernails filed short and smooth to minimize damage from scratching
  • Using cotton mittens to help prevent scratching
  • Dressing your baby in soft cotton fabrics to prevent possible fabric irritation
  • Keeping your baby cool and avoiding hot, humid environments
  • Trying to keep your baby distracted from the itchiness with fun activities

We’ve told you what we know about various common skin conditions that you might see on your little one. Keep in mind, there are other conditions that can cause skin rashes, including various infections. Even with this info, you probably still have questions and want answers! The next step is to discuss them further with you little one’s healthcare team. Make sure you plan ahead, take notes and ask the right questions when you see your doctor.


Rob McCandlish is a registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN) who joined the Nutricia team in 2010. Rob has years of experience at Nutricia following food allergy research, working with Neocate products, talking with Neocate families and learning about the science behind Neocate and food allergies. Rob has two nephews who both used Neocate for their cow milk allergies!

Read Comments (59)

  • 2011-06-04 | ksulaman

    My baby have a rashes on her nick and its get on her face. Its not red but its getting worst. Her doctor said that it can be her milk which is enfamil infant premium. She is taking this milk about 5 months but never had this problem. Her doctor said i should switch her formula. I don’t know what to do.

  • 2011-08-08 | omayravelez

    my son had gained a rash all over his body completely at 2 weeks old and his doctor continously explained how it was eczema and it would go away within time. he has seen a dermatologist who gave him mutiple creams and none of them worked then they had changed his milk to nutramigen and still no change. he is now nine months and he has seen an allergist bc the strongest cream trimcinanolone you can give a baby hasnt worked he came out with a cows milk allergy and is now drinking soy milk. the allergist has suggested soy milk and if that didnt work try neocate but so far hes been doing a better job with the soy smile

  • 2011-08-10 | Christine Graham-Garo

    Thanks for the comments. Rashes can be hard to figure out what is causing them. Keep in mind that soy milk is not considered hypoallergenic, but I am happy to hear your little on is doing better. As always, just give us a call if you have any questions about Neocate at 1-800-NEOCATE.

  • 2012-02-17 | Liz L

    I have twin girls who were told they had baby acne when they were 3 weeks old. At 3 months they were told it was ezcema and prescribed a .1 steroid cream. The rash went away for 3 days and then it came back worse than before. We then went to an allergist who diagnosed the girls with a milk allergy and atopic dermatitius. They were put on neonate. It’s been 7 days and the rash is still there. How long does it take a milk rash to go away?

  • 2012-02-21 | Christine Graham-Garo

    Hi Liz, 
    Ezcema, as a result of a food allergy, can take a bit longer to heal than, for example, a GI related reaction to food. Based on clinical research, ezcema usually takes about 2 weeks to calm down once the child starts Neocate. Keep in mind all babies are different and some may take a bit longer than others. Have you noticed any new rashes developing? As usual, be sure to discuss with your doctor. Give it about 1 more week and if the rash persists; first, speak to your doctor, then feel free to give us a call at 1-800-NEOCATE so we can further discuss with you.
    Kindest wishes Liz!

  • 2012-03-19 | Karen

    My son has what appears to be dry skin over his forehead, arms and legs.  It is not real red just dry.  He does not look like the pictures of the children on your website.  My PCP has stated he thinks it is related to an allergy.  How do you determine if an allergy or just dry skin?

  • 2012-03-21 | Christine Graham-Garo

    Dear Karen,
    Figuring out if it is a food allergy is not always black and white. Is the rash itchy for your son? Has the doctor prescribed any creams for the dry skin? Did they help? If not, food allergies may be the cause. Another sure way to know if food allergies are at play is if you switch to a hypoallergenic formula, which essencially removes the offending protein/allergen from the diet. Is your son on a milk based formula currently? By trialing a formula such as Noecate Infant, you can usually see the rash decrease within about 2 weeks (depending on how severe the rash was and assuming it was due to food allergies). Its good to talk to your doctor before starting on a formula such as Neocate Infant just so you are all on the same page. The Dr may be able to provide samples for a trial. Hope this helps a bit. Feel free to call us at 1-800-Neocate for any further questions you may have.

  • 2012-04-15 | Lette

    My son had frequent diarrhea since he started drinking the regular formula, I was told in the hospital that it was normal. He developed rashes in his face after a week and his pediatrician told me that they are baby acnes. At 4 weeks old, my son had bloody stools. His pediatrician said that he could be allergic to cow’s milk and recommended Alimentum but my son doesn’t want to take it so switched to soy. My son’s rashes had gotten worst over the past 3months, it was all over his body and some of the rashes in his arms were weeping. On top of that he had this runny nose that didn’t go away. Went to see a dermatologist who prescribed 3 different ointments, it worked for about 3-4days, after that the rashes was worst than ever, it went all the way up to his scalp. I switched pediatrician, so at my son’s 4month check thats when the new pediatrician told me that my son could be allergic to soy. He recommended neocate or elecare but he said to put 1 packet of equal for every 4oz? At this time I am still waiting for my insurance to see if they will cover neocate, but I am wondering why we have to sweetened the formula, does it taste nasty?

  • 2012-07-11 | Hope

    My 3 month old has a rash all over his back and a little on his stomach. It doesn’t look like these other rashes and when I was looking online the photos of rashes that look the same all talk about lupus but his doctor today says it’s a milk rash. Is it possible my doctor could be wrong?

  • 2012-07-11 | Hope

    My son has a rash too but it’s only on his back and stomach and all the pics of similar rashes I’ve found online talk about lupus. His doctor says it’s a milk rash, could he be wrong? Is there a specific look to milk rashes?

  • 2012-07-11 | Christine Graham-Garo

    Hi Hope,
    There is not a specific look to food allergy rashes. They appear very differently from child to child. The best way to know if it is a food allergy thats causing the rash, is to go on a 100% allergen free formula, such as Neocate Infant (use the Neocate Infant if your child is under 1 year, Neocate Jr for over 1 year). That way if the rash improves after 2 weeks while on Neocate, you will know it was a food allergy. If it doesnt improve on the Neocate than you will know it may be something more than just food allergies. Hope this helps and best wishes.

  • 2012-07-11 | Hope

    Well my son is primarily breastfed… So I should just change the formula only or my diet as well?

  • 2012-07-11 | Christine Graham-Garo

    Hi Hope,
    That is for you and your doctor to decide. If you decide to continue breastfeeding, you must be sure to 1) eliminate all the offending allergens from your diet and 2) ensure you are meeting your nutrient needs. Its best to discuss this with your doctor. Best wishes

  • 2012-07-28 | Kary

    My daughter had baby acne since day 1, and she is currently at the end of her 7th week.  Ever since week 4, she has had small patches of rough areas around the chin area, like dry skin.  In recent weekas, those dry patches seems to have spread to the rest of her cheek. She doesn’t appear to be itchy or irritated. She has no fever or vomiting. After doing some research online and consulting with her pediatrician online, I decided to use an eczyma cream last night, but today those dry areas seems to have gotten so much redder.  The pediatrican also suggested 1% hydrocortosone for potential rashes. I feel really bad because it seems like her skin condition is getting worse, and I can’t figure out what to do.

  • 2012-07-31 | Marie

    Yes my baby got a rash from cows milk!! Long story, but here goes. From the start he has always been breast fed. After he was born he got baby acne.. It kept getting worse and it spread to the rest of his body. It was like little dry bumps and scaly red skin around his wrists, ankles, etc. his face was also very red. Naturopath Dr. Suggested I cut dairy products from my diet. His condition improved, but didn’t go away. So I cut dairy and wheat/gluten from my diet. Within a month his skin was 100% better!!! It was amazing the difference my diet changes made! Fast forward to now and he is 14 months. Now he nurses much less, and is a good solid food eater. We give him no dairy or gluten products, up until a week ago I tried giving him cheese to see if he was still sensitive to it. Sure enough by the next day he had a large large over his entire front and back- it looked like tiny red clear fluid filled bubbles. Poor guy:( I won’t be doing that again. For those of you who are trying to cure a rash - evaluate your babies diet and yours too if you’re breast feeding!! Try to eliminate one thing at a time from the diet and wait about a week before you see results- it takes awhile for the allergen to leave the system. Creams and things treat the symptoms of a rash and not the cause! Diet changes are hard at first, but it gets easier, trust me! It’s well worth the effort to have your little one be happy, healthy, and rash free.

  • 2012-08-01 | Christine Graham-Garo

    Hi Kary,
    If the rash is not improving with the creams, you should tell your doctor. Food allergies may be the reason for the rash. Work with your doctor to eliminate the allergens (most often milk and soy) from your diet if you are breastfeeding, or switch to a hypoallergenic formula, like Neocate which is 100% dairy free. Be sure to speak with the doctor so you are all on the same page. Best wishes to you and your little one.

    Thank you, Marie, for sharing your story. Im sure this will help other families dealing with rashes. Glad you were able to find a solution to your childs rash. Sounds like you both are doing well! smile

  • 2012-12-31 | Shaina

    My 3 1/2 month old son is currently on Neocate and my husband and I have been able to see a huge improvement in his temperament.  We had initially thought he may have a dairy allergy so we had put him on soy & as time progressed, we felt he may be allergic to soy so we ended up having him tested.  Both showed up negative!  So our pedi told us to put him back on dairy.  Within a couple weeks his eczema had gotten worse (he’d always had slight dry skin on his cheeks) and his temperament had dramatically changed.  He was no longer the happy little baby that we’d once knew.  So we went ahead and ordered some Neocate formula & immediately started him on it once it arrived.  He’s SO much happier but his eczema just seems to be getting worse.  Any reason for that?  We brought him in to the doctor and he mentioned that it may get worse before it gets better…  But how much worse is it supposed to get?!?!

  • 2013-01-02 | Christine Graham-Garo

    Hi Shania, We are happy to hear your little one is feeling better. In regards to the rash, we have studies showing it can take up to 2 weeks for eczema (due to food allergies) to resolve. If it has been 2 weeks and your little one is still getting new rashes, then it may not be just food allergies, it could be environmental allergies as well. It may be easier said than done, but give it about 2 weeks on Neocate. As usual, call us if you have any further questions, and keep the Dr infomed. Best wishes to you and your family.

  • 2013-01-23 | Rachel

    My 12m just started getting a face rash around her mouth, she has had it for two weeks. She has been on cows milk since 12/25/12. Would you recommend me taking cows milk out of her diet? How long would I need to wait to see the rash go away? Could it be other dairy too such as eggs and maybe peanuts? How long should I trial before bringing her in? Thanks for all the help!

  • 2013-01-25 | Christine Graham-Garo

    Hi Rachel,
    Well first I would say to speak with your doctor. Not all rashes are caused by food allergies. If you have the means and suspect its food allergies, it may be worth trialing at least 1 week without cows milk (this is where you will want to speak to the doctor or a dietitian). You will need to find a hypoallergenic supplement that is nutritionally complete in the mean time, such as Neocate Junior (for a child over 1 year) to ensure all nutrition is being met. Typically, it will take about 2 weeks to see the rash go away (as seen in studies using Neocate). Eggs and peanuts are also top allergens but it will be hard to know what exactly is causing the rash. Again, I would start by contacting your doctor. Let us know if any further questions. Best wishes!

  • 2013-08-11 | anna

    Hi my son was diagnosed with food protein allergy at 4 weeks of his age, started on necoate( 2 weeks now), diarrhea resolved, from 15 stools/day decreased to 1-3/day. Mucus is still present but definitely it is harder to see blood in stool. But problem is with rash on his face that is not improving but now starting on his ears too. I don’t know what to due about it, how to help, is there something I can use so it resolve rash. Also should I use some special baby wash and lotions. I’m afraid that rash will spread all over the body as I have seen on pictures for some other babies. Help please!

  • 2013-08-22 | Christine Graham-Garo

    Dear Anna,
    First off, apologies on the our delay in responding.
    Its best to speak to your doctor about the rash. Im glad to see your sons GI symptoms have decreased though, thats a good sign. Eczema/Rashes may be caused by environmental triggers so it is important to speak to your Dr about lotions or bath washes will be the best for your little one.  Let us know if there are any further questions. Feel free to call us at 1-800-Neocate to further discuss.
    Best wishes to you and your son,

  • 2014-01-21 | Devina

    My daughter is 8 months old. She had a rash come up it is on her face, neck, stomach, and arms around 7 months. I took her to the doctor and they tested her for strep it came back positive. They said her rash has come from that. However it has never went away it seems like it is but comes back worse. I have just started her on formula about 2 times a day when the rash started. She was breastfeed and still is but not as much.

  • 2014-01-21 | Christine

    Dear Devina,
    Rashes or eczema can be a sign of a milk protein allergy. Its hard to tell 100% unless you switch to a formula like Neocate Infant which is 100% dairy/milk free. Has the Dr brought up the potential for a food allergy. You should bring it up to the doctor if not. Also to consider, if you are breastfeeding and if a food allergy is suspected, you will have to eliminate the offending protein from your diet, as the proteins travel into your breastmilk. That is the best way to know if an infant has a food allergy (most of the time it is a milk allergy). First discuss with your doctor and then if you like, we can provide a sample can of Neocate Infant. This may help to figure out if its the milk in the formula that is giving her the rash.  Hope she gets better soon!
    Kindest wishes,

  • 2014-03-16 | Nikki

    My daughter is covered head to toe in so called eczema. Her skin is not dry just red with a ton of tiny bumps. She’s been on alimentum for almost a week now and I see no sign of this stuff going away. She has bad gas, stomach aches, and a stuffy nose still. I do have two cats and two rabbits that live indoors. The doctors won’t refer her to an allergist they say she’s to young at 8 weeks. No creams or ointments that I’ve used seem to work.

  • 2014-03-17 | Rob

    Very sorry to hear your daughter has such a bad case. Given the other symptoms you describe and that ointments haven’t helped, her eczema may be related to cow milk allergy (CMA). For some infants with CMA Neocate is a better fit than formulas that contain dairy. Neocate contains no dairy and is made in a 100% dairy-free facility. Most clinicians would recommend a 2- to 3-week trial of a formula like Neocate to see the most improvement. Feel free to give us a call if you have questions at 1-800-NEOCATE.

  • 2014-04-19 | Robin

    My 4 month old son has been battling horrible rashes (all over his body) since he was 3 weeks old. We just started Neocate 2 days ago. I am aware studies show it typically takes 2 weeks to see improvement, however, I notice there seem to be more rashes that developed after 24 hours of using Neocate. My question is is it normal for it to get worse in order to get better?

  • 2014-05-01 | Christine Graham-Garo

    Dear Robin,
    Rashes or eczema take time to heal and resolve if they are due to allergies. The 2 week period is specific for rashes as it can take time for the skin to completely heal. Its best to talk to the Dr about this. Also be sure other factors (such as environmental allergens) are not playing a role here. Hope your little one does well. Christine

  • 2014-05-20 | Jasmine

    My son has been battling eczema for about 1 yr… He is 15 months old. We learned at 8 months he is allergic to milk, egg, peanuts, tree nuts (specifically almonds, cashews,  and Brazilian nuts), and mustard… He is gaining weight and thriving but me being a typical worry wart I feel that he could weight more… He is in the 20th percentile for weight. .. but is very tall his dad is 6 ft 5… so basically he is long and skinny .. any way I just wanted to know if this drink has any other foods that my son may be allergic to u wanted to put him on pediasure but it obviously contains milk…. thanks so much

  • 2014-05-21 | Christine Graham-Garo

    Hi Jasmine,
    If your son is on Neocate Infant or Neocate Jr, there is no milk, peanuts, almonds, cashews, Brazilian nuts, nor mustard in the product, nor are there ingredients sourced from those foods you listed. Is your son on the Neocate Jr? Neocate Jr is more nutrient dense than the Neocate Infant, so that can help with providing adequate nutrition. Its always good to discuss with your doctor your concerns about his weight. Hope this helps. Let us know if we can help with anything else.
    Kindest regards,

  • 2014-07-20 | Patricia Sproul

    How can I get a sample of Neocate?

  • 2014-07-21 | Rob

    Hi Patricia,
    We recommend that you ask your healthcare provider for a sample of Neocate. As a medical food, Neocate should be used under medical supervision. If the doctor’s office is out of Neocate samples, they can contact us at 800.365.7354 for more samples.
    Kind regards,

  • 2014-09-23 | Melanie

    My daughter was formula fed, she couldn’t keep it down so she was switched to soy. Her spit improved drastically. At about 8 months old, she went back to the normal Similac milk based formula and I noticed she started getting a rash on her face but I didn’t correlate it to the milk because all my kids have had slight eczema on there cheeks as babies. I tried the steroid creams that worked wonders on my boys, but it didn’t help her rash at all. I tried every lotion and cream, nothing helped. Then I stopped using all that stuff and just washed her face with warm water every night. Still nothing… She turned 1 and I switched her to whole milk and this is when I started thinking maybe it could be the milk, because she got an unexplainable diaper rash and was constipated and the rash on her cheeks became very very bad.  She was only on the whole milk for 4 days. I bought soy milk, the diaper rash went away and the constipation is getting better, the cheeks are back to their normal rash but I can’t seem to get rid of it. She has a dr appt in a week but I really want to help her. Is ther a better substitute for whole milk? Maybe almond? I am just concerned about her getting the nutrition she needs.

  • 2014-09-23 | Rob McCandlish, RDN

    Hi Melanie,
    Thanks for sharing your story, and great question! You should certainly bring this up at the doctor’s appointment next week for the team’s advice.

    The most recent guidelines* suggest that children who are not breast-fed should remain on a replacement formula through 2 years of age. Often healthcare professionals do not recommend plant-based milks, as they are not nutritionally appropriate replacements for cow milk. For instance almond milk is very low in protein, so not a good replacement for dairy. Neocate formulas would be options that your healthcare team might suggest, but aren’t the only options.

    Best of luck to you!
    *World Allergy Organization (WAO) Diagnosis and Rationale for Action against Cow’s Milk Allergy (DRACMA) Guidelines

  • 2014-09-23 | Ana Villalobos

    Hi. I am would like to know where to buy neocate jr in Canada.
    I have a one year old baby that had a very bad ezcema when he was three months old, He was breastfeeding and with enfamil formula also, as soon I stop all dairy and switch to similac alimentum his eczema got better. But now that I started to give him cow milk he got hives and constipation.
    I know he his allergic to cow milk. So I would like to give him neocate Jr, but I don’t know where to buy it.
    my doctor didn’t said anything about changing milk.

  • 2014-09-24 | Rob McCandlish, RDN

    Hi Ana,
    Please give our Canadian office a call. They can help you, either with a direct purchase or by helping to see if a pharmacy in your area might be able to order Neocate Junior for you. You can reach the Canada team at 1-866-NEOCATE (636-2283).
    Best of luck!

  • 2014-10-29 | Beth

    Where can I buy this formula at???? Is there any stores in Hawaii that carries this product??? I desperately need to try this formula for my 4 month old daughter..

  • 2014-10-30 | Rob McCandlish, RDN

    Hi Beth,

    Usually the best way to try Neocate is to check with your little one’s healthcare team. Many doctor’s offices have samples of Neocate, and if not they can call us for samples. That way you don’t have to buy it to try it.
    Many pharmacies don’t carry Neocate, but can special order it within 24 hours. You can check our pharmacy finder to see if we’ve heard of locations near you that might have Neocate in stock, and give them a call:
    Otherwise give our Customer Service team a call (800.365.7354) - sometimes they know of other locations that order from us regularly.
    Best of luck,

  • 2014-11-20 | Alicia Kunkel

    My son has milk and soy allergies. The doctor suggested neocate but I see it contains casein which is a milk protein. Won’t this continue to cause my son discomfort? He is mainly breastfed and I have cut out all milk and soy in my diet.

  • 2014-11-21 | Rob McCandlish, RDN

    Hi Alicia,
      Neocate doesn’t contain any casein, or anything at all derived from dairy. In fact, Neocate powdered products are the only formulas made in a 100% dairy-free facility, which we dedicate to dairy-free products. Any powdered Nutricia product that contains dairy is made in an entirely separate facility. View the full list of ingredients for Neocate products here:
      Hope this helps!

  • 2014-11-21 | Alicia Kunkel

    Thank you for the reply. I saw an ingredients list on a site and it listed casein and soy as ingredients.

  • 2014-11-24 | Rob McCandlish, RDN

    How odd - Definitely let us know if you come across that again and we’ll see if we can get the site to correct it!

  • 2015-01-15 | Heather

    My son is allergic to the milk protein so my pediatrician recommended Alimentum.  We keep saying that the symptoms are not getting better but actually increasing.  He has a rash that we were told was eczema or keratosis pilaris but it seems to turn bright red after feeding.  He is in pain after feeding and we took him to the ER because we assumed it was an allergic reaction (which the ER agreed but the pediatrician said no it was just eczema).  He also is extremely gassy, has 5-8 BM’s per day, extreme bloating, screaming in pain, and vomits.  We are finally seeing a specialist soon but want to discuss switching to Neocate if possible.  The current pediatrician said to cut his 6oz bottles to 2oz or to feed Pedialite in morning then nothing for 8 hours?!  I just want to go in knowledgeable and discuss this option.

  • 2015-01-20 | Rob McCandlish, RDN

    Hi Heather,
      We’re so sorry to hear that you and your son are not having an easy time, especially since it sounds like you may not feel like you’re being heard. The guidance that you mention (to only feed 2 ounce bottles and to fast for 8 hours) is not advice I’ve heard, and is not consistent with the guidelines I’ve read. However, we can’t give medical advice, and generally recommend following the healthcare team’s advice. That being said, some pediatricians rarely see severe cases of cow milk allergy, and families find that they are more comfortable working with a specialist who is more familiar with the condition. If the specialist feels the symptoms your son is experiencing may be due to a cow milk allergy, he/she will likely suggest trialing an amino acid-based formula like Neocate.
      Best of luck to you, and please don’t hesitate to call us if you have questions you think we might be able to help with (800.365.7354).
      Kind regards,

  • 2015-03-08 | Christine

    My 3-mon old son’s rash started from his face @ ~3 weeks old and the pedi said it’s just regular baby rash, which would go away in a couple of month. But it never goes away and spreads all over his body soon. His face is very red and skin is dry and itchy. We tried various moisten creme but nothing works. The pedi precribed 1& hydrocortison for him about 2 weeks ago. The rash cleared up with steroid on the 1st couple of days then became less effective but the rash was under control. We were told not to use steroid on his face > a week, so the steroid was stopped. But now, the rash gets worse and worse…I asked the pedi if it’s food allergy but he doesn’t think so and said we should not switch formula. The little one suffers a lot and couldn’t sleep well. I was really hoping to try neocate but it seems impossible to get it through the pedi. Do you think we should try neocate and where can we get a sample? Thanks.

  • 2015-03-09 | Nutrition Specialist

    Hi Christine,
      I’m so sorry to hear that you and your son are having such a difficult time finding answers. While your son’s rash could be due to other factors, there’s certainly a chance it can be related to a milk allergy. Pediatricians aren’t always familiar with this, and a pediatric allergist probably has more experience. One option would be to ask for a referral to a pediatric allergist to see what they’d recommend. We always recommend using Neocate under medical supervision. A pediatric allergist might have free samples for you, or you could give us a call at (800) 365-7354 and we can try to help you.
      Best of luck,

  • 2015-08-14 | Elaine Kinsella

    Hi my 4 month old daughter had small patch of eczema on her face so we changed milk to neocate milk nw her face is full of red bumps and rash its bright red lookin .. does it get worse before it gets it possible for her to be reacting too the corn syrup

  • 2015-08-17 | Nutrition Specialist

    Hi Elaine,
      There are so many factors that can influence eczema that it’s hard to say, however it’s unlikely that Neocate would contribute to making it worse. The best thing to do would be to check with her healthcare team for their advice. Many times they’ll suggest waiting 2-3 weeks before making another change, but they can look at other possible factors with you.
      Best of luck,

  • 2015-08-27 | Becca

    My Daughter was exclusively breastfed until four months old when I had to start supplementing with formula to get her through the day while I was at work. She immediately developed a rash all over her back and the back of her arms and neck. I switched from Enfamil newborn to Enfamil gentlease to nutramigen and now to neocate at my doctors advise. The rash went completely away when I was exclusively breastfeeding while off work the last two weeks. I do not eliminate anything from my diet by the way. I am going back to work in three days and my problem is this - my baby refuses to drink neocate even when mixed with a little breast milk. She is 5.5 months old, any advise?

  • 2015-08-28 | Nutrition Specialist

      Sometimes older infants notice a difference in taste between Neocate and breast milk. The best suggestion we have would be to check with your healthcare team. They often recommend persisting, as infants can be slow to accept new tastes. Some clinicians have recommended ways to sweeten the taste. It’s best to discuss with your healthcare team. , but you could also take a look at these resources first in case they contain helpful suggestions:
      “A Guide to Transitioning to Neocate” is full of tips:
      Best luck,

  • 2016-05-31 | dwi

    My baby (6 mo) has rash and itchy since consumed soy milk formula and now I have change it in neocate also I had eliminate all dairy product, poultry in my diet cause she still breastfed but the rash and itch stil persist. What should I do? She has already has neocate..what should I do?

  • 2016-05-31 | Rob

      It’s essential that you ask your daughter’s healthcare team for guidance, since they are familiar with her medical history. It sounds like you are still breastfeeding her and supplementing with Neocate? If that is the case, the team may have further guidance on your elimination diet, and they may want to wait more time to see if she sees any improvement. For infants with a rash related to food allergy, an exclusive Neocate diet typically results in improvement by about 2 weeks.
      Best of luck,

  • 2016-06-05 | Rita R.

    My son is three weeks old had been really constipated gassy really bad dry flaky skin spitting up also has tiny red bumps on chin and cheek Dr said just use aquaphor on skin and to give him a once of water and prune juice a day been doing this and it hasn’t made any type of difference stitch him from Gerber sooth to Similac sensitive but after the bumps on face started getting worse and spit up started looking like mucus I decided to switch to Similac alimentum since it’s for milk allergy I switched yesterday around noon but now today I see there are more red bumps than yesterday now I’m confused is it going to get worse before better could it be something else and I just found out Similac has corn in their formula could my son be allergic to that as well sorry for long message just really lost at what do or expect next

  • 2016-06-06 | Nutrition Specialist

    Hi Rita - Definitely ask your son’s pediatrician these questions. Some pediatricians don’t see many infants with severe cow milk allergy, so the doctor may decide to refer you to a specialist. In general, healthcare teams suggest up to 2 weeks to adjust to a new formula to get a clear picture of how much it will help. For some infants with cow milk allergy, formulas that are made with hydrolyzed milk protein like the one you mention do not fully resolve the allergy symptoms. Then an amino acid-based formula like Neocate is the next step. True corn allergies - allergies to corn protein - are not too common, and the carbohydrate ingredients in infant formulas that come from corn are usually seen as fine for patients with corn protein allergies.
    Best of luck to you!

  • 2016-09-01 | Stephanie Bush

    My son is 3 months and has been diagnosed with a cow’s milk allergy. We tried nutramigen and it did not work. We are now trying neocate and it has helped some but he is still very itchy. I am wondering for anyone else did the itchiness go away after neocate cleared the rash?

  • 2016-09-02 | Nutrition Specialist

    Hi Stephanie,
      Glad to hear that you’ve seen some improvement. If your son has atopic dermatitis, that condition can be related to food allergies. If that’s the case, it can take up to a few weeks from starting Neocate to see the fullest extent of improvement.
      Can any other parents weigh in? What has your experience been?

  • 2017-03-07 | Lindsay

    My daughter is 5 weeks and has been on a million different formulas including Elecare which she threw up, made her reflux worse, and her rash got worse. She’s on soy ready to feed right now and all of her other symptoms have disappeared except the rash. Does a rash get worse before better? Do some babies tolerate Neocate better than Elecare? And does Neocate make reflux worse because it’s thinner? Does Neocate make ready to use options for those babies that can’t handle a powder form? Also do you send samples directly to families? Because my pediatrician doesn’t carry Neocate samples, only Elecare.

  • 2017-03-07 | Nutrition Specialist

    Hi Lindsay,
      We’re so sorry to hear that you’ve been through so much! I’m glad to hear that most of her symptoms are under control.
      1) A doctor would need to evaluate the “rash” to give you advice. If what you’re describing is atopic dermatitis (eczema), doctor’s often try to get that under control with other strategies - evaluating foods to try to control it is often a last resort.
      2) Some babies seem to do better on one amino acid-based formula over another, although most babies tolerate them equally well. Neocate does not contain soy oil. That seems less relevant for you, since she’s tolerating soy formula.
      3) Reflux tends to happen a bit more with amino acid-based formulas, like Neocate, because of their thin consistency. If the reflux is a symptom of a milk allergy, it will generally improve within 2 weeks though.
      4) No, we don’t have a liquid or ready-to-feed infant formula, and there’s not really a reason that a liquid would be better tolerated than a powder. (Liquids are preferred by parents for convenience, though.)
      5) We may be able to provide samples if the doctor doesn’t have them available. We can help with that and other questions by phone at 800.Neocate (800.636.2283)
      Best of luck to you and your little one!

  • 2017-04-01 | Hen

    Plz be aware if these symptoms as my son nearly died. Be aware.

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Food Allergy Living is a resource for parents of children with food allergies, brought to you by Nutricia, the makers of Neocate. For more in-depth information about our purpose & authors, see our About Food Allergy Living page.