Common Newborn Skin Conditions
Your new little one is perfect, but their 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, which makes their skin more delicate than yours. It absorbs more water, but loses it faster — making the potential for dryness much greater. And your baby’s immune system is still developing, so there’s also a greater potential for irritation and infection.
Baby acne occurs in some 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.
You may also notice during the first few days that your newborn's skin peels slightly, especially on the palms of their hands, soles of their feet and their ankles. This is perfectly normal, especially if your baby was born past their due date. After a few days the peeling will go away. Just remember to apply a moisturiser made for babies to help keep their skin soft.
Eczema & Dry Skin
Many babies experience eczema or dry skin. Learn how to recognise and help 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 moisturiser 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 nappy rash at some point. For information on nappy rash care and protection, visit our nappy 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.