Baby Health: Skin Changes in Newborns

Did you notice a rash or pimple on your baby’s skin? Listen to this episode to find out whether it’s something you need to go see your doctor about or not!

Episode Transcript

Hello, and welcome back to First Breaths to First Steps by Bev Garrison. I am your host today, and we are going to talk about newborn skin things. I’ve labeled my talk. AND BLUE – things that are red, white, and blue. There’s so many changes in newborn skin and how they look after birth and so many of them are normal.

So I want to go through some skin characteristics so that you’re not worried And kind of identify some things that you can be on the lookout for. There’s so many worried parents, they look at their newborns and bring them in frequently just because of skin findings that they were never told about. Parents are panicked, they’re sure it’s a sign of something bad. But really, I think just giving everyone a little heads up before hand can minimize that fret and worry.

So my goal today is to describe some very normal findings. Secondly, I’d like to give some at home treatment options if they’re needed and then I’ll end with the general overall good routine for skincare for a new babies.

let’s start with things that are red.


begins two to three weeks of age. Looks like red pimples. that it is something that you will see a little bit raised. We believe that it’s because of maternal hormones. And common in babies at their face, their neck and their back. It can last up to four to six months. go away on its own, but you can, if you choose to wash with just a gentle cleanser, a couple of times a day. Also. I would not recommend using adult acne preparations.

The second thing that’s red that I’d like to talk about is a huge word. Sounds kind of scary, but it’s called ERYTHEMA TOXICUM. I always lIke to mention this to any newborn parents, because like bug bites. Nothing is biting your baby, but it will look raised in the center, somewhat white with a red surrounding. I think it’s good to know. These are spots that will fleet, so they will move from parts other parts of the body and the resolve in about one to two weeks. There’s absolutely no treatment for this.

The other thing that I’d like to talk about that thr is red are BIRTHMARKS Commonly call them a NEVOUS SIMPLEX in the medical world, but stork bites or angel kisses. Kind of a salmon color or red color. It can be located lots of different places. If it’s over the upper eyelids, we called those angel kisses. If it’s back at the NAPE of the neck, we call those stork bites. They’re thought to develop because of stretching blood vessels, as babies are developing. They will get darker with crying temperature changes. Or if babies are pushing, like to have a bowel movement or they’re coughing. There’s also no treatment for this. They usually fade on their own, but nothing that needs any attention.

The next subgroup of skin, things that I’d like to talk about or things that are white. The very first one is what we call MILIA white bumps, usually in the face and or chest. There’s not a red background to it. They’re not fluid filled. Usually you’ll see them commonly at the nose. They tend to resolve in about two months without any treatment. The only caution here I would say is that if you think that these little white bumps look blister-like I would call your pediatrician. Might be a sign of something that’s viral and needs bit more attention. The second thing that I’d like to talk about. That’s white and very typical is dry skin. been swimming for nine to 10 months. And so coming into the outside world especially in Denver, where I live. are super dry. You can see flaking at the wrists, the ankles. be widespread as well, but typically we’re kids fold. Sometimes you see them crack or peel a little bit.


of the easy at-home treatments that you can do. where the baby’s sleeping. Where the bassinet is or the nursery. The nice thing about that too, is that it provides good white background noise. It also will just help change that ambient humidity. I would also recommend using a nonsented

lotion Anything that doesn’t have any perfume, any dyes to it, will be great for the skin and easy. Um, to keep the skin moisturized.

So the next thing I’d like to talk about that’s white is what we call CRADLE CAP it’s located on the scalp as its name kind of implies. It could be a whitish, two yellow scaly patch at the scalp. Sometimes you can also see it extend down to the eyebrows. it will resolve, but it might clear a little bit quicker with some gentle shampooing with a brush and or using a gentle wash cloth to kind of help exfoliate some of that plaque that’s built up. The biggest thing to remember with cradle capn is not to pick at the scalp or pick at the plaques. It canmake Make the baby scalp bleed. But also can cause infection. One


One last things that I’d like to talk about that s white. is what we call Epstein pearls. Or EPITHELEAL pearls. It is found inside the mouth on the gums or the roof of the mouth. About the size of a pinhead and it’s a white patch that you can notice. Just a small, tiny white bump. They do you resolve on their own, you can also notice these of at the gum line as well as the roof of the mouth. of a whitish discoloration at the cheeks or on the tongue. That might be something that’s more. of What we call thrush. And I do have an episode on that. You guys can listen to you. the difference between the two, because both are commonly found in the mouth. Thrush tends to be on the cheeks and the tongue, and it’s not very easily removed. If you scrape it with your fingernail. Epstein pearls or epithelial pearls. are very discreet white bumps. Whereas the be more of a coating that you would see. So that’s maybe one way that you can tell the difference. If you do think it’s more diffuse and on the cheeks and the tongue. It’s something that I would recommend that your pediatrician or PCP take a look at.

Lastly, I want to talk about things that are blue. First one I want to talk about is what we call MONGOLIAN SPOTS OR MONGOLIAN BIRTHMARKS. They tend to be a bluish purplish, sometimes even black discoloration, usually located at the lower back. It can look like a bruise, but it’s not. It’s common in babies of African or Asian descent. absolutely no treatment to it. And they usually fade by school age.

feet. A lot of parents will come in worried about this. Our hands and our feet are the furthest thing from our heart. When we see that in babies, can be due to poor circulation to both the hands and the feet. But what you want to do is just keep your baby warm. a hat on maybe an extra layer of clothing. Make sure you have socks and or mittens on their hands. If you feel like your baby is overall dusky or kind of bluish inside the mouth, that’s definitely something you’d want to follow up with your pediatrician or your primary care.

Next thing that I want to talk about in the blue category is a CAPUT OR CEPHALOHEMATOMA. that’s a swelling at the top of the scalp sometimes associated with bruising and so that can give it its discoloration. both of these usually resolve in a few days or months after birth.

So those are things that are red, white, and blue that of the time can be watched at home. But if of the characteristics that I highlighted, that I mentioned, you should follow up with a primary care provider I would pay attention to those.

Good GENERAL CARE TIPS is what I want to leave us with. Don’t over cleanse, probably the number one rule. Baby’s really aren’t that dirty and so they don’t need a lot of cleansing. They don’t need a lot of soaps that are stripping to their skin. So when babies are born, Every two to three days is fine. that. you don’t want to submerge them in a tub until their belly button has come off. And even after that it might be a good idea just to use a Q-tip to dry inside the belly button.

You do want to make sure as far as skin tips to launder the baby’s clothes and linens with a gentle cleanser. And consider doing a double rinse. You may think about doing your own clothes the same way, just because the upper half of your body is in contact with your baby and can cause some irritation.

Things to think about as far as products that you want to use on your child’s skin. LESS IS MORE in this scenario. You want to keep products kind of simple, no sense, no dyes. It’s your baby is born allergic to those things, but it just can cause your skin to be irritated. Next point I’d like to make just good general skincare tip is to avoid overexposure to the sun. Especially under six months of age. In Colorado where I live and have practiced. We get so much sun here over 300 sunny days a year. that it can be hard, but babies can overheat. They can get sunburn. So you just want to make sure that you’re taking that precaution to keep them covered.

Next point I’d like to make powders like talc avoided. They can be definitely harmful to the lungs and It’s pretty hard to kind of contain a powder that it’s not kind of in the air. And can be breathed in by you or your baby. So we typicaly don’t recommend using powders on the skin.

Lastly. do frequent diaper changes and use some type of barrier ointment, early on just to prevent diaper rash. in the diaper area is very tender and can easily be irritated.

this talk on normal newborn skin items, that are red, white, and blue helpful. I hope you remain healthy until the next time. Be well.