Care of Newborn's Skin 

Newborns may experience a number of skin issues. From sensitivity to newly developing oil glands, common newborn skin problems are often not a cause for concern. Here are a few of the most common and completely normal skin issues associated with newborns.

Newborn Dry Scalp 

Dry scalp, also referred to as dandruff, cradle cap, or seborrheic dermatitis, is common in newborns and is no cause for concern. However, it should be monitored for redness and irritation. You may be tempted to try to treat your baby’s dry skin with lotions and oils, but this is actually counterproductive since the buildup of dry skin is caused in part by an overproduction of oil beneath the surface of the skin.


Newborn Breast Swelling

It's perfectly normal for newborn babies — both boys and girls — to experience some swelling of the breast area. This swelling may appear in the form of an enlarged breast and/or lumps under the nipple. Almost always benign, swelling in this area is caused by exposure to maternal hormones in the womb, and it will resolve on its own. In rare instances, the breast area may appear infected (swollen, tender, and red) and be accompanied by a fever. If this occurs schedule an appointment with your pediatrician. 

Newborn Jaundice

Jaundice — a common and typically harmless skin condition — is a yellowing of the skin and the whites of the eyes caused by a build-up of bilirubin in the blood. The medical term for jaundice in babies is neonatal jaundice, and symptoms usually develop on the second or third day after birth. Other symptoms of newborn jaundice may include:

  • Dark, yellow urine
  • Pale-colored feces 
  • Yellowing of the palms of the hands and soles of the feet

Occasionally, jaundice can become a serious issue and require blood tests to monitor levels of bilirubin in the blood. Though very rare, if left untreated, very high levels of bilirubin can cause brain damage, so it's important to contact your pediatrician if you have any concerns.

Newborn Rashes

Newborn babies are prone to a variety of different skin rashes. In many cases, these conditions are harmless and go away on their own. Below are a few of the most common rashes:

  • Neonatal acne
  • Erythema toxicum
  • Milia
  • Salmon patches
  • Congenital melanocytosis 

In most cases, these skin conditions are harmless and will resolve on their own. Your pediatrician should evaluate any rash associated with additional symptoms such as fever, poor appetite, lethargy, or cough.