Newborn skin care is an essential part of baby care. Skin rash are extremely common in newborns and babies. Most of the common newborn skin rashes are innocent and transient but can be a serious concern for parents. Differentiation of the nonsignificant conditions from more serious clinical entities is important.
This article reviews some of the common self-limiting rashes seen in babies. (Also read about Cradle Cap and Nappy Rash)
The Mongolian spot
Blue-gray spots located on the lower back and buttocks are prevalent in Asian and African babies.
A specific therapy is not required and the lesions fade in 3-5 years, while they expand in the first year of life.
Another innocent rash that occurs as a result of capillary vascular malformation (stretching of small blood vessels underneath the skin). It is named either ‘Angel Kiss’ or ‘Stork Bite’ according to the location – on the forehead or nape, respectively. The lesions fade in early childhood.
Erythema Toxicum Neonatorum
A common condition affecting as many as half of all full term neonate neonates. Most prominent on day 2, although onset can be as late as two weeks of age. An eruption of red flat bumps sometimes with white pinpoint centers, often begins on the face and spreads to affect the trunk and limbs. Palms and soles are not usually affected.
The eruption typically lasts for several days however it is unusual for an individual lesion to persist for more than a day.
The neonate is otherwise well and requires no treatment.
Baby Acne (Neonatal Acne)
Baby acne presents within the first 30 days of life. Occurs due to the effect of maternal hormones.
Baby acne looks similar to teenage acne. Small white or red pimples are seen that may be surrounded by reddish skin. It usually shows up on the cheeks and sometimes on the forehead, chin and the back. The acne can become more pronounced when your baby is hot, fussy, if spit-up milk or fabric irritates the skin.
Baby acne typically clears up within a few weeks, but it can linger for months. No treatment is generally required
Affects 40-50% of newborn babies. Few to numerous harmless cysts that present as tiny pearly-white bumps just under the surface of the skin. Often seen on the nose, chin cheeks.
Lesions will heal spontaneously within a few weeks of birth.
Heat rash (Miliaria)
Heat rash appears as fine, clear or red spots on your baby’s skin, mostly on the forehead, upper trunk, volar aspects of the arms and covered parts of the skin. Heat rash is common in babies during hot, humid weather — often a result of overdressing.
Heat rash generally disappears on its own. In the meantime, move the baby to a cooler environment or give the baby a cool bath. To prevent heat rash in hot weather, dress your baby in cool, lightweight clothing. Minimizing of overheating is the best prevention method
Umbilical granulomas occur in the first weeks of life after the umbilical cord detaches.
An umbilical granuloma is an overgrowth of tissue during the healing process of the belly button (umbilicus). It usually looks like a soft pink or red lump and is often wet or leaks small amounts of clear or yellow fluid. It is most common in the first few weeks of a baby’s life.
A simple home remedy for umbilical granuloma is the salt treatment
• Apply a small pinch of table or cooking salt onto the umbilical granuloma.
• Cover the area with a gauze and hold it in place for 10-30 minutes. This may be easiest to do when your baby is asleep.
• Now clean the site using a clean gauze soaked in warm water.
• You should repeat the procedure twice a day for at least two days.
In approximately two or three days you should notice that the granuloma reduces in size, it may change colour, dry off and the area will gradually heal.
If the umbilical granuloma does not respond to treatment after one week see your health care professional.
Also, check out Newborn skin rashes and birthmarks and Newborn rashes and skin conditions.