What can I do if a newborn baby has skin rash on his body?

What can I do if a newborn baby has skin rash on his body?

It is not rare to have some skin problems in newborn babies; common conditions include erythema toxicum, neonatal acne and heat rash.

What is erythema toxicum?

Erythema toxicum commonly appears in 2 to 3 days after birth and occurs mostly on baby’s cheeks, trunk, back, hands and feet. It appears as tiny, whitish or yellowish dots of the size of a needle tip, surrounded by blotchy redness.

What can I do then?

Erythema toxicum is not a disease. It usually disappears within a few days to weeks after birth. There is no need to squeeze, apply lotion or cream, or do any specific treatment.

Why do babies have acne?

Neonatal acne occurs most commonly on baby’s forehead and cheeks. It often appears a few days or weeks after birth and appears as small, raised, reddish bumps. The cause may be due to the effect of mother’s hormones crossing the placenta to the baby during pregnancy. Usually it disappears on its own within 3 months after birth. You need to keep the baby’s skin clean and dry. Do not squeeze and there is no need to apply specific treatment or care such as use of cream or lotion.

I noticed some spots on my baby’s back. Is that heat rash and what can I do?

If your baby is kept too warm, he will sweat and this may cause blockage of sweat pores and form small, raised red spots on the skin. This is heat rash. It occurs most commonly on baby’s neck, back and chest. To prevent heat rash, dress your baby in appropriate clothing, keep the skin cool and dry to reduce sweating. Clean the baby’s skin with water. You need to consult a doctor if there is no improvement or if the condition is severe.

Under what conditions should I visit a doctor?

Actually, if you are not sure what kind of skin problem your baby is having as mentioned before, you should visit your doctor for advice. Moreover, if your baby has fever, tiredness, breathing difficulty during feeding or pus in the rash, you should bring your baby for doctor consultation as soon as possible.

If you want to know more about “Common Skin Problems in Infants”, you can visit our website at www.fhs.gov.hk.