Health Library
Skin Conditions in Newborns

What Kind of Skin Conditions Can Newborns Have?

It is not uncommon for babies to get skin rashes. Rashes can look different on different babies' skin. As a parent, you may not know if the rash is something to worry about. Remember that you can always call your baby's doctor's office and ask to speak with a nurse if you are concerned. Some rashes are more commonly seen during the first few months of life.

Baby Acne

You may think that only teens and young adults get acne. But your baby may get it too. Baby acne shows up around 2 to 3 weeks of age because of mom's hormones. The pimples are harmless and won't leave scars. Just leave them alone and keep the area clean with water only.

Cradle Cap

Cradle cap is very common, and just like its name implies, you typically see it on the scalp. Most of the time, it appears in the first several weeks after birth. It will get better on its own but may be treated if it becomes severe. Remember to call your baby's doctor's office and ask to speak with a nurse if you think your baby's cradle cap is getting worse.


(pronounced: ek-suh-muh)

Eczema can begin in the first few weeks of life or may not begin until your baby is older. Eczema is dry skin that gets red and irritated, mostly seen on the scalp, face, trunk, elbows, knees or the diaper area. Apply Vaseline or an unscented moisturizing lotion to keep skin from becoming too dry. If the skin continues to look red and irritated, contact your baby's doctor's office and ask to speak with a nurse.

Erythema Toxicum

(pronounced: er-uh-thee-muh tox-i-cum)

Half of all newborns develop this rash, usually within two to three days after birth. The rash begins red and raised and can appear on the face, arms or legs. This is a normal baby rash. It is not warm to touch and does not cause any problems. There is nothing that needs to be done about it. It will go away within a few days.

Heat Rash

You may see this rash, sometimes called "prickly heat rash," if your baby gets too warm. You may notice it on your baby's neck, armpits and diaper area. It may itch and make your baby uncomfortable. You can help by keeping your baby in a comfortable temperature. Most of the time, prickly heat will go away on its own in a couple of days.


(pronounced: jawn-dis)

Jaundice is commonly seen within a few days of birth. It appears as a yellowing of the skin, lips and eyes. Many babies go home from the hospital with a little bit of jaundice. But if your baby looks more yellow in the eyes or skin, is not eating well, not making as many wet diapers, or is hard to wake up, it is important to call your baby's doctor's office right away and ask to speak with a nurse.

Congenital Dermal Melanocytosis

These gray-blue patches usually appear within the first year of life. They might look like a big bruise, but they do not hurt. They may show up on your baby's back, bottom or legs. These spots are caused by simple differences in skin color and are perfectly harmless. They range from the size of a pinhead to 6 inches across.

Newborn Dry Skin

Dry skin is common. Your baby was surrounded by fluid in your womb for several months. It takes a while for your baby to get used to its new surroundings. There is no need to do anything. Your baby's dry skin will get better on its own.

White Bumps Called Milia

(pronounced: mil-ee-uh)

Milia are small white bumps that are common on newborn skin. Milia are generally seen on the forehead, cheeks, nose and chin. Leave them alone. They will go away on their own.

For Information

For more information, contact your child's doctor's office.

Last Updated 08/2023

Reviewed By Nick DeBlasio, MD

Visiting Cincinnati Childrens.

Cincinnati Children’s has primary care services at locations throughout Greater Cincinnati.