Common Newborn Skin Issues

By Medically reviewed by Dr. Duyen Le

A newborn may have a lot of skin problems as their skin is adjusting to the environment outside the womb. If treated properly, those skin imperfections will disappear over time, revealing that beautiful, flawless skin of your baby underneath. Here are some of the most common newborn skin issues:

1. Milia

Caused by skin gland secretion, these small white or yellow bumps that appear on the baby’s face are actually cysts filled with keratin and sebum. Milia can also be presented in the gums. Fortunately, the condition would go away within the first few days or weeks without needing any treatment. Oils and creams can make the condition worse.

2. Miliaria (also called as “Heat rash” or “Prickly heat”)

Presented as tiny blisters filled with fluid (or pus) or little reddish bumps appearing on the baby’s back, chest or underarms, miliaria is caused by the blockage of sweat ducts on the skin. The condition is most likely to be found in hot, humid climates or when the baby is over-bundled.

3. Cradle cap

Cradle cap is a skin condition in which the excessive sebum buildup sticks skin cells together instead of letting them shed normally, resulting in greasy or crusty yellow patches on the scalp of the baby.

4. Newborn acne

Approximately 30 percent of newborns develop baby acne within their first 4 months of life (most start after 2 weeks). Experts believe the occurrence of these red or white bumps are due to the transmission of the maternal hormone to the baby’s body. Since the condition can go away on its own, there is no need to apply an oil or cream, which can make it worse.

5. Erythema toxicum (generally preferred as “E tox”)

The condition is characterized by a rash of red splotches (some also have yellowish-white bumps in the center) that usually appear on infants’ back, face, chest or arms. Fortunately, this is a harmless baby rash that typically goes away in a first few months.

6. Birthmarks

Some birthmarks fade over time while others remain for the rest of the child’s life. Common types of birthmark include:

Mongolian spots: Mongolian spots appear in over 90 percent of Asian, Native American, African American, and Hispanic babies. They are bluish-green or bluish- ray birthmarks which are mostly found on the baby’s back or buttocks. These birthmarks are flat in shape and typically fade within 2 years.
Stork bites pink birthmarks: These are flat pink birthmarks that occur on the bridge of the nose, under the eyelid or on the back of the neck. The mark can be referred as “an angel’s kiss” if it’s on the front and “stork bite” if it’s on the back.
Infantile (or Strawberry) hemangiomas: Made up of blood vessels, these red birthmarks increase its size and height over time. Onset usually between 2-4 weeks of age. It may take up to 8 years to disappear if there is no treatment involved.

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Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

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