Saturday, April 30, 2011

Distinguishing Baby's Skin Rash and Acne

Are there other skin conditions besides skin rash and acne that look alike? It turns out there are a lot. Here is a quick guide to recognizing infant skin blemishes so you will know what to do.
Baby Rashes vs. Baby Acne

Baby rashes, also known as erythema toxicum, is also a skin reaction to pre-birth hormones from the mother. Unlike baby acne, baby rashes typically are white or yellow in the center and red around the edges. They usually appear by the second day of life and disappear by the end of the second week.


Hives are fluid-filled bumps that appear suddenly after an allergic reaction. Very few babies get hives.


Impetigo is a staph or strep infection of the skin. It can cause blisters that break and leak almost anywhere on the baby's body. Or it can cause a small red or yellow blister that "leaks" a honey-like substance, usually on the face. Staph infections usually start in the nose and spread to the skin. They are less serious than strep infections, which usually start on the skin and spread to the throat, causing strep throat, and, in rare cases, scarlet fever or kidney disease.


Milia are tiny plugs of keratin protein that clog pores in the newborn's skin. They usually occur at the tip of the nose or the tip of the chin, and less commonly on the cheeks and forehead. As the baby's skin grows, the milia naturally fall out of the skin. This usually takes 3 weeks to 3 months.

Mongolian Spots

Mongolian spots are gray, brown, or black-and-blue birth marks that can be confused with bruises. Most Asian, Hispanic, and African-American babies have at least one Mongolian spot, often on the buttocks, while most white babies do not.

Stork Bites

"Stork bites," also known as salmon patches, are flat, gray to pink areas of skin leftover from the linkages of blood vessels while the baby was still in utero. These patches occur in about 1/3 of babies after birth (and 100% of babies before birth), and usually disappear during by the first birthday.

Transient Neonatal Pustular Melanosis

Transient neonatal pustular melanosis causes pustules (pus-filled, blister-like elevations of the skin that may or may not be red) on the chin, forehead, neck, back, and buttocks, and sometimes on the palms and on the soles of the feet. The pustules usually burst soon after birth and begin to health within 24 hours. Transient neonatal pustular melanosis occurs in about 0.6% of white babies, 2.2% of Asian and Hispanic babies, and 4.4% of Black babies.

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