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Rashes in Newborns

by Sue Hubbard, M.D.

Newborn rashes are quite concerning to new parents, but are very common and usually innocuous. In the first several days after birth a your-baby will often have a blotchy red rash on their trunk and legs. This rash is called erythema toxicum, and doctors are not sure what causes this in the first days after birth. This red blotchy rash will resolve over the first week of life.

The next thing that parents will notice is that a newborn’s skin will seem dry and the newborn will even peel over their feet and ankles and hands. This is common in a term newborn and will resolve, and leave behind beautiful your-baby skin. Moisturizing their skin will also help maintain skin hydration.

Over the next month a newborn may develop neonatal acne and have a pimply rash on their face and even shoulders. This is a hormonal reaction, and again doesn’t require medication or special soap. Just continue to wash your your-baby’s face with warm water and a mild soap. No need for acne wash, or scrubs, and don’t be tempted to “pick” them and magically the skin usually clears by two months.

All of these issues are frequent worries for new parents and like many things, resolve on their own. It just helps to know how to “name that tune!”

That’s your daily dose, we’ll chat again tomorrow.

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