Newborn Rashes and Birthmarks

Newborn Rashes – Topics Covered

If your baby is healthy, skip the "What to Do" section. Go directly to the topic number that relates to your question for advice.

  1. Acne. Small red bumps on the face (onset 2-4 weeks).
  2. Drooling or Spit-Up Rash. Rash around the mouth and on the chin (onset anytime).
  3. Erythema Toxicum. Red blotches with small white "pimple" in the center (onset 2-3 days).
  4. Skin Injury from Birth Process. From forceps, scalp electrode or birth canal (present at birth).
  5. Milia. Tiny white bumps on the nose and cheeks (present at birth).
  6. Mongolian Spots. Bluish-green birthmark, often on buttock (present at birth).
  7. Stork Bites (Pink Birthmarks). On back of neck or bridge of nose (present at birth).
  8. Strawberry Hemangiomas. Raised red birthmarks (onset 2-4 weeks).
  9. Port-wine Stains. Dark red or purple flat birthmarks (present at birth).

Newborn Face Rashes: Most Common Ones

  • Erythema Toxicum 50% (onset day 2 or 3)
  • Milia 40% (present at birth)
  • Baby Acne 30% (onset week 2 to 4)
  • Drooling or Spit-up Rash (common and onset any time)
  • Heat Rash (common and onset any time)

Heat Rash

  • Many newborn rashes that have no clear cause are heat rashes.
  • Heat rashes are a pink blotchy area with tiny bumps.
  • They mainly occur on the face, neck and chest.
  • During hot weather, most temporary newborn rashes are heat rashes.
  • Cause: Blocked off sweat glands. The openings are so tiny in newborns, that any irritation can block them. Examples are getting any ointment on the skin, friction from clothing or being overheated. Being held against the mother’s skin while nursing causes many face rashes.

Herpes Simplex: Serious Newborn Rash

  • Appearance. Several water blisters or pimples grouped in a cluster. They look like the cold sores (fever blisters) that adults get on their lip. After several days, they crust over.
  • Location. Just one part of the body, usually the scalp or face.
  • Redness. The base can be pink. The pinkness does not extend beyond the cluster of vesicles.
  • Onset. Within the first 2 weeks of life.
  • Importance. Early treatment with anti-viral drugs can prevent serious complications. If you think your newborn’s rash looks like herpes, call your child’s doctor now.
  • Imitator. Although herpes can be confused with erythema toxicum, they look very different.

Is this your child’s symptom?

  • Common questions asked about normal skin rashes and normal birthmarks in newborns