Common Infant Skin Conditions
You love every single inch of your baby. Even so, sometimes you’ll see things that make you go “Eww!” Let’s take a look at common infant skin conditions.
His teen years are miles away, but your baby may be showing signs of little red pimples or whiteheads. About 20 percent of babies will develop baby acne, possibly resulting from the fluctuation of mom’s hormones that are present in the baby’s body before and after birth. The condition will clear up on its own, usually within a few weeks, so resist the urge to try to pop the pimples or otherwise “help” it along.
Depending on how much hair your baby has, you may not even notice if he has cradle cap. Or, while washing or combing his hair, you might suddenly notice these sticky brown or yellow patches all over his head. Cradle cap is very common in babies at this age, and often lasts for several months (or even a year or two). It’ll eventually disappear on its own, but you can use a mild shampoo and a soft brush to gently loosen the scales. It may take many washings to completely eliminate cradle cap. If it gets red or starts to move down onto his forehead, see your pediatrician.
Sometimes known as “strawberry marks,” hemangiomas are red birthmarks caused by an overgrowth of blood vessels in the skin. The marks may be flat, only on the top layer of skin, or they may run deeper and result in larger, raised masses. They can grow rapidly until about age two. These aren’t harmful to your baby in any way, and about half completely disappear by age five, with nearly all resolving by age 10.
These tiny white bumps often show up on the nose, forehead and cheeks. Milia are usually caused by small bits of skin and oil that get trapped in pores or hair follicles, and they aren’t harmful. No treatment is needed, as the bumps will clear up on their own by about 3 months of age.
There are dozens of potential causes of rashes in infants, most of which aren’t harmful. Some signs that you should call your pediatrician about a rash include:
- Rash doesn’t disappear (or at least lighten) when pressed
- Rash appeared after trying a new food, medication or other potential allergen
Of course, if your baby has any rash or other skin condition that worries you, always call your pediatrician and get it checked out.