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Baby skin rash and other common skin conditions in newborns

There are so many conditions that result in a baby skin rash, that it is often impossible for a parent to determine what causes it.

baby skin rash guide

On this page we will look at the most common infant and toddler rashes.

We aim to help you find out what is causing your baby's skin rash.

Most parents worry when their baby gets a rash or pimples. By recognizing these baby skin conditions you can save yourself a lot of worrying.

Don't get alarmed if your baby all of a sudden develops a rash. Despite the fact that a baby's skin is very sensitive and prone to skin rashes, most baby skin conditions are quit harmless and very treatable and others eventually correct themselves.


The most common skin problems in babies


Erythema Toxicum

Erythema Toxicum
erythema toxicum
Photo credit: Derma Album


This baby skin rash is the most common in newborns and affects up to 80% of all babies before they are 5 days old.

These harmless flat red blotches disappear within a few days. The cause of the rash remains unclear. Apparantly the rash has something to do with the newborn's adjustment to the outside world.



With this baby skin condition the infant has pearly white pumps on the nose, chin and cheeks. The pumps are blocked pores with trapped skin flakes.

They will clear up on their own in the first few weeks of baby's life. Milia found on the roof of the mouth are called Epstein Perls.


Heat Rash or Miliaria

This baby skin rash affects mostly babies in warm climates. It is caused by blocked sweat glands that get irritated and form thin walled blisters (miliaria cristallina).

Try not to overdress your baby and keep him in a cool and comfortable environment and the heat rash will settle within a few days. Visit our page with heat rash pictures if you don't know what a heat rash on babies looks like.

Why do babies easily get a heat rash and how can we treat a baby with a skin heat rash?


Baby Acne or Acne Neonatorium

With baby acne you can see red or white pumps on the nose, forehead, chin and cheeks.

It usually appears in the first 3 to 4 weeks. Newborn acne is caused by maternal hormones in the baby's bloodstream stimulating the sebaceous glands (sebaceous gland hyperplasia).

This baby skin rash ultimately disappears without treatment usually before the baby is one year old.

See how you can cure baby acne with natural remedies.


Cradle Cap or Neonatal Seborrhoeic dermatitis

On baby's scalp there is a yellowish, patchy, greasy, scaly skin rash. This is called cradle cap or neonatal seborrhoeic dermatitis.

It may also effect eyebrows and around the nose. Usually when a baby gets to be 8 to 9 months of age it is quieting down.

Infant cradle cap is a noninfectious and non contagious baby skin rash which affects about 50% of all babies. Read more about Infant cradle cap.


Baby skin eczema

Eczema is the inflammation of upper layer of the skin, called the epidermis. Baby eczema can either be mild or moderate which can be managed using emollient oils, soaps and other topical methods.

The symptoms of eczema include itching, redness, cracking, flaking and sometimes bleeding of the skin. In most cases eczema in children subsides when they reach the age of 5 or 6.


Diaper Rash

However careful and often you clean your baby at some point your baby may develop a baby skin rash in the diaper area.

Red pumps and patches in the diaper area will usually disappear after a few days of home remedies for diaper rash. In some more severe cases medical attention may be required.

Sometimes a severe diaper rash won't go away with the usual over the counter creams and ointments. Find out more about the different types of diaper rash.


Hives or Urticaria

Hives are caused by an allergic reaction to medication, food or insect bites. You can see raised blotches with light centers.

Hives are very itchy and can appear all over the body. What do baby hives look like? Baby hives look like raised pink or red spots with pale centers (wheals) on the skin.


Bed Bug Rash

The bite of a bed bug can cause a terribly itchy baby skin rash that can easily be mistaken for the bite of a flea or mosquito.

The saliva of the bed bug can cause an itchy and swollen baby skin rash. It is very important you recognize the early symptoms of bed bug bites to prevent an infestation in your home. Learn how to spot a bed bug rash and how to treat it.



A common skin infection with crusty yellow sores. This is a contagious skin condition cause by bacteria like staphylococcus or streptococcus and can occur everywhere. See impetigo pictures.

Keep an infant's nails short because every time he scratches the impetigo he can start a new spot of impetigo touching another part of the body.

Treatment with topical antibiotic ointments will help but oral antibiotics are faster and more reliable. Impetigo Rash or school sores is usually very treatable but can pose a huge risk for newborn babies.


Molluscum Contagiosum

This baby skin rash resembles acne. The pimples with a depression in the middle are caused by a virus.This virus is contagious through direct contact or handling contaminated objects like a towel.



Roseola Infantum or Exanthem subitum (meaning sudden rash)is a childhood viral infection causing a baby skin rash all over the body.

A Roseola rash appears as light pink to red slightly raised or flat spots. It is often confused for measles. Sometimes babies get a high fever for 3 to 7 days.

Roseola Infantum or Exanthem subitum


Complications of roseola can be seizures and very rare encephalitis.

Typical for a Roseola Rash or Exanthema Subitum is the sudden rash that follows when the fever drops.

If you are not sure about a baby skin rash or the rash doesn't clear up on it's own always check with your health provider.



More baby skin rash articles

Childhood rashes

The Fifth Disease or Erythema Infectiosum.

Chicken pox rash. Incubation period and chicken pox treatment.

Mumps symptoms and complications.


Fungi, mites and ticks that may cause a baby skin rash

Ringworm in kids and how to treat a ringworm rash.

Scabies home treatment. Scabies info on treating scabies in children.



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