Common Skin Rashes in Newborns

It is very common for babies to have rashes or spots on their skin at birth and during the first few weeks of life. Most of these are not dangerous and go away on their own. Here is a list of some common rashes that we see in newborn babies.

Erythema Toxicum

Erythema Toxicum is seen in about 50 percent of all full-term babies and can be all over the body except the palms and soles. This rash is much less common in premature babies. Usually, Erythema Toxicum rashes are visible by the second day of life and look like small yellow-white pustules surrounded by a flat red blotchy rash. Your healthcare provider can confirm the rash by examining your baby and may need to take a sample of the pustule for testing to ensure there is no infection. There is no known cause and the rash subsides on its own.

Hemangiomas

Hemangiomas are a type of birthmark that babies are born with or begin to appear within the first few weeks. They are reddish raised bumps that are sometimes referred to as strawberry hemangiomas, because of their look and colour. Appearing on any part of the body, they are thought to be an abnormality of the blood vessels; they usually do not cause any problems and go away without treatment. It is reassuring to know that most hemangiomas typically grow rapidly during the first year and then start to shrink and go away completely by five years of age. Your healthcare provider can give you specific information relevant to your baby.

Mongolian Spots

Babies can be born with Mongolian spots, which look like flat blotches of faded blue-grey ink. These spots are most commonly on a baby’s lower back area and they vary in size. While only 10 percent of Caucasian babies have these spots, they are seen in 80 percent of Black, Asian, and East Indian newborns. There is no known cause or consequence of Mongolian spots; they eventually fade away within the first few years of age.

Salmon Patches

Salmon patches, also known as nevus simplex are small patch of skin with a pink discoloration. They are usually seen on the back of the neck, the forehead, and eyelids of newborn babies. Often referred to as stork marks, they are present in about 30 percent to 40 percent of all normal newborn babies. Salmon patches fade away on their own within several months of life and are not dangerous.

Sebaceous Hyperplasia

These are very tiny yellowish pimples that are frequently seen on a newborn’s forehead, nose, cheeks, and upper lips. These are actually sebaceous glands—glands that produce natural oil in the skin—that are swollen at birth and they disappear on their own within the first few weeks.