Skin savvy

Newborn rash

  • A red rash with small yellow spots is commonly called newborn rash, but its real name is erythema toxicum.
  • It appears as big pimples that look like mosquito bites.
  • This harmless rash occurs most commonly on the second and third day of baby’s life.
  • Don’t squeeze these spots.
  • The rash will clear on its own.

Baby acne

  • Pesky pimples aren’t just reserved for adolescence!
  • An excess of your hormones coursing through your newborn’s body after birth, and blocked sebaceous glands, can cause spots that look similar to adolescent acne.
  • Don’t squeeze these pimples; they should clear up within a few weeks or months.
  • If they persist, ask a dermatologist how to proceed.


  • Small white bumps over a baby’s face, typically over the nose, cheeks and chin, are called milia and are caused by blocked sebaceous glands.
  • These glands get blocked because they’re not quite developed yet, so oil gets trapped and forms spots.
  • Almost all newborns sport signs of this harmless rash, which should clear up in a few weeks or months.


  • There are two types of birthmarks in babies – pigmented ones, which include moles, and vascular birthmarks, which are caused by blood vessels.
  • Pigmented marks are usually permanent.
  • Vascular birthmarks, such as port-wine stains and stork bites, usually disappear sometime during early childhood.
  • Some may require medical treatment, so it’s best to consult a dermatologist.

Cradle cap

  • Sometimes the skin cells on your baby’s scalp grow a bit faster than they fall off, and extra oil production causes a layer of crusty yellow-brown scales to stick to your baby’s scalp.
  • This is cradle cap, and it is not at all painful.
  • Gently loosen the scales so that they can be removed.
  • Rub baby oil, olive oil or aqueous cream onto your baby’s scalp before combing out his hair.
  • See your GP if you’re still worried.

Heat rash

  • You may notice a ne, red pimply rash appearing when your baby is out in the sun too long or too warmly dressed.
  • The rash shows up on the neck, face and body.
  • When your baby sweats from being too hot, his pores clog and cause the rash to develop.
  • To cool him down, give him a lukewarm bath and don’t overdress him.


  • A red, scaly rash over your baby’s face, arms, neck and armpits can be eczema.
  • This dry rash can even cause your baby’s skin to blister or crack.
  • Eczema is usually a reaction to creams, soaps, detergents and other substances that come into contact with the skin.
  • Consult your GP for the best treatment option for your baby.
  • Wash his clothes in mild, fragrance-free detergents and use aqueous cream or fragrance-free soaps and lotions on his skin.
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