Common Newborn Skin Conditions in Babies
Your new baby’s skin is still developing, so it needs special care. As their skin adapts to their new world, many newborns experience these common skin conditions.
Your newborn’s skin must adapt from the water-like environment of your womb to the dryer environment after birth. The transition isn’t immediate, and your baby’s skin will continue to develop long after birth, which makes his skin more delicate than yours. Although your baby’s skin can absorb moisture at a faster rate than adult skin, it can lose it faster, too—leaving your baby’s skin prone to dryness. In addition, your baby’s immune system is still developing, so there’s also a greater potential for infection.
Baby acne occurs in approximately 20 percent of all babies. It generally resolves itself during the first few months. It may take the appearance of pimples, whiteheads or a minor rash. Small white pimples or spots called milia usually appear on the face, especially the nose and chin. They aren't itchy and won't bother your baby. They are just the result of immature sweat glands, and possibly hormones from your pregnancy, and will disappear without treatment.
Although most baby acne is self-limiting and resolves on its own, if your baby’s condition is severe or you have concerns, be sure to talk to your baby's doctor.
You may also notice during the first few days that your newborn's skin peels slightly, especially on the palms of his hands, soles of his feet and his ankles. This is perfectly normal, especially if your baby was born past his due date. After a few days the peeling will go away. You can ask your baby’s doctor if using a baby ointment or moisturizer might be helpful.
Eczema & Dry Skin
Many babies experience eczema or dry skin. Learn how to recognize and treat these conditions.
Some babies have cradle cap or seborrheic dermatitis—a skin condition that looks like crusty or scaly patches on the scalp or eyebrows. This is a very common condition that may begin in the first few weeks and usually lasts several weeks or months. Fortunately, it usually resolves completely when your baby is between eight and 12 months old.
To help alleviate cradle cap, you can gently massage a moisturizer or oil like JOHNSON'S® baby oil onto the patches to soften the crust. Wait a few minutes, then comb gently to remove the flakes. Then you can shampoo with a gentle made-for-babies shampoo like JOHNSON'S® baby shampoo.
Many babies experience diaper rash at some point. For information on diaper rash care and protection, visit our diaper rash guide.
Even though many of these conditions resolve on their own, if you do have any worries or concerns, it’s best to speak to your doctor.
Caring for Your Baby’s Skin Means So Much More
When you care for your newborn’s skin, you’re doing much more than keeping it healthy. Research reveals your routine touch, during the everyday moments you spend gently rubbing in lotion or washing your baby, is critical to your baby’s growth and development, communication and learning. And the enjoyable and familiar scents of JOHNSON’S® baby skin care products can improve your baby’s mood and alertness. Together, touch and scent help create lasting memories while nurturing your bond and your baby’s happy healthy development.