The Top 5 Newborn Skin Conditions for Parents to Watch For
Newborn’s skin conditions
Babies, newborns and toddlers get lots of skin problems like acne, eczema and other rashes . Here are 5 of the most common conditions.
Salmon patches present as red patches on a babies skin and are often located between a newborn’s eyes or on the back of their necks. They are a group of capillaries that stay dilated causing the red appearance and are generally caused by the mother’s hormones. Yet, there is no need to fear. Salmon patches usually disappear by age 1 or 2 and occur in 70% of babies. In rare cases they are permanent. Dr. Dennis Porto of First Derm notes that “salmon patches of the face almost always resolve while those of the neck are more often persistent. If their cosmetic appearance is bothersome, laser treatments can be used when the patient is older.”
Eczema also known as atopic dermatitis often presents itself in newborns as red patches of itchy flaky skin. The cause of eczema is multifactorial and it often runs in families that are predisposed to conditions like asthma and seasonal allergies. In most situations, eczema is not related to a specific allergy. Eczema can also be triggered by heat, soaps, and detergents as well as clothing. “In infants,” as Dr. Porto explains, “eczema is most commonly seen on the face and scalp. As children get older, it is more commonly seen behind the knees and inside the elbows.” In mild cases, diligent moisturizing and removing harsh skin products and soaps can be sufficient. In other cases a prescription may be needed to clear it up. If severe eczema presents itself see a doctor for further instructions. Eczema often gets better throughout life and may resolve completely in adulthood.
3. Newborn Acne
Newborn Acne is found in about 20% of babies and is similar to the acne that appears in teenagers and adults. It presents as multiple small pimples that are located on the face and neck. The most important thing to remember is do not pop or agitate these pimples. This could lead to infection, discomfort and often times scarring. Use a gentle cleanser as ones that are made for teenagers and adults can often times contain harsh chemicals that will agitate the skin. Use warm water and pat dry affected areas. Generally newborn acne will clear itself up without any intervention from a physician. If your baby tends to scratch or pick at their acne a bacterial infection can occur.
4. Cradle Cap
Cradle Cap or seborrhea often appears in babies under 6 months old. It appears in oil rich parts of the body (i.e. the head, ears or on the neck) and usually looks like greasy yellow scale on the scalp, behind the ears, and in the eyebrows. Seborrhea is caused by a mild fungal infection. Dr. Porto remarks that “unlike eczema, seborrhea is not itchy and usually doesn’t bother the infant.” Anti-dandruff shampoo or over the counter hydrocortisone can be used for treatment, although caution should be advised using these on an infant without medical supervision.
5. Prickly heat
Prickly heat is also known as miliaria rubra and more commonly known as heat rash. It presents itself in babies in the form of little red bumps that appear in the areas of the body that tend to sweat the most. This tends to be in the diaper area, neck, and armpits. Although uncomfortable for your newborn there are no serious side effects and treatment is easy. Simply dress your baby in loose fitting clothing and get them out of the heat. Dr Porto advises that “avoiding occlusive creams and turning on a fan can help as well.”
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