top of page

6 common newborn baby skin problems

Updated: Sep 16, 2021

Newborn baby skin and what to look out for.

Being a mum of three I can relate to how anxious it can feel when your newborn develops a skin problem. There are several common newborn skin problems that your new baby may experience in the first few weeks after birth, most will be nothing to worry about, but I would advise to get a second opinion from a health professional, you can never be too careful.

1. Cradle cap

Also knows as seborrheic dermatitis, it is harmless and extremely common but the cause isn’t fully known. All three of mine developed cradle cap, it looked like dandruff to start and develops into a greasy, yellow, crust baby’s head during the first three months of life.

How to treat?

It can linger for a good few months, but I found leaving Vaseline on the scalp overnight softened the cradle cap and I was able to loosen it by gently brushing with a baby soft brush.

When to call the doctor?

I’d suggest visiting your doctor if the crusting is persistent, gets worse, starts bleeding or spreads beyond your baby’s scalp. Your doctor may prescribe an antifungal cream or shampoo.

2. Nappy Rash

Skin inflamed from Fungal infection, exposure to urine or stool, harsh soaps, sweat, moisture or a nappy that is too tight.

How to treat?

Changing a nappy often and as soon as baby has urinated or done a poo. Make sure area is clean and dry, using unperfumed and alcohol free wipes . I found applying sudocream worked very well.

When to call the doctor?

If the rash doesn’t get any better, spreads, becomes oozy or baby develops a temperature, contact your doctor immediately, as this may be a sign of bacterial infection.

3. Jaundice

Also known as neonatal jaundice, is one of the most common conditions to affect newborn babies and usually harmless. It is caused by a build up of yellowish / red blood cells called bilirubin and the symptoms include yellowing of the skin and the whites of the eyes, dark yellow urine and pale coloured poo. Symptoms are usually seen within the first few days after birth and get better without treatment by the time they are a couple of weeks old.

How to treat?

While mild jaundice often clears up on its own, when baby is exposed to mild sunlight for at least a couple of hours a day, severe jaundice can be dangerous and requires treatment.

When to call the doctor?

If your baby develops signs of jaundice or they are reluctant to feed, contact your paediatrician, health visitor, community midwife o doctor immediately.

4. Baby acne

In the first few weeks after baby is born you may start to see baby acne on the cheeks, nose and forehead. It’s a harmless skin condition, which develops when hair follicles are blocked.

How to treat?

Baby acne is temporary and there is no treatment for it, it usually clears up within three to four months.

When to call the doctor?

If baby skin isn’t clearing up, getting worse or has other symptoms, such as a high temperature contact your paediatrician, health visitor, community midwife o doctor immediately.

5. Baby eczema

All three of mine babies have suffered from some degree of baby eczema, it appears as red patches of itchy, rough, dry skin, on baby’s cheeks, leg and arm joints. My sister has eczema, and it is said to be hereditary, but in most cases irritants, heat, sweat and food allergies also play a part.

How to treat?

There is no cure, but treatments can help symptoms. Replace harsh products with natural and fragrance-free products, such as laundry detergent, baby products designed for sensitive skin and avoid using perfume. Bathing in lukewarm water is enough for babies delicate newborn skin. Keep their nails short to avoid scratching the skin, and keep hands covered with cotton mittens or scratch mittens, all in one baby grows with scratch mittens attached are fantastic to invest in. Skin needs to be kept hydrated with creams, we found alveno for babies best to buy off the shelf.

When to call the doctor?

Any signs of if getting worse, spreading or skin infection or fever you need to contact your paediatrician, health visitor, community midwife o doctor immediately.

6. Heat rash

Heat rash is caused by your baby’s body producing too much sweat, which is trapped under the skin which causes a rash. It can appear anywhere and spread, but it is not contagious.

How to prevent and treat?

Keep baby skin cool, so it doesn’t sweat, loose cotton clothing, lightweight blankets, lukewarm baths keep baby hydrated.

When to call the doctor?

If you are worried about the rash or it doesn’t improve contact your paediatrician, health visitor, community midwife or doctor immediately.

You may also be interested in reading Baby photography at home

20 views0 comments


bottom of page