10 Common Newborn Baby Rashes You Need to Know About!

This post is sponsored by Johnson’s Baby.

After your baby is born, the last thing you expect is to worry about is skin rashes.

The truth is that as a first-time mom – you can become very paranoid – even about the little things! We want our babies to look and be ‘picture perfect’! Anything out of the ordinary makes us freak out.

Before I became a mom, every picture of a newborn baby that I came across in magazines and on TV commercials always showed how clear and soft a newborn baby’s skin is.

No one told me about the skin conditions that they could develop during the first few weeks and about how common this is with newborn babies!

newborn rashes

I remember the first time I found pimples on Kitana’s face. She was about 2 weeks old… I freaked out!

Her entire face was covered in tiny pimples. The first thing I did was google: “My newborn has pimples on her face, what caused it?” I assumed that it was something that I used, something that was too harsh on her face. I kept doubting myself. I didn’t even want to take her out in public because I knew that I would get the random odd questions like the ones that I got from strangers when I visited the hospital for a check-up.

Even though newborn skin rashes are common, some people still look for an opportunity to blame the mom and her mothering ability. I feel that it is important for us to educate ourselves. We need to learn about the different rashes that a baby could pick up and the way that we can treat them.

Before I discuss 10 common newborn baby rashes, I must stress the importance of making sure that you’re doing everything you can to keep your baby’s skin healthy by following a regular routine and using reputable products that are specially formulated for baby skin – products like Johnson’s top-to-toe range.

newborn rashes

Daily Care to keep your baby’s skin healthy

Your baby’s skin is much thinner than an adult’s and loses moisture 5 times faster so it’s important to keep the skin barrier healthy and intact.

Although babies don’t get very dirty, they do need to be cleaned regularly. Whether you are just top and tailing your baby or doing a full bath, use a gentle cleanser that won’t dry out the skin. JOHNSON’S top-to-toe Wash is a good choice because it’s clinically proven safe to use on newborns and is as mild as pure water. It can also be used to wash your baby’s hair.

newborn rashes

Although a baby’s skin is soft, remember it’s prone to dryness so after cleansing, moisturise your baby’s skin. The new JOHNSON’S top-to-toe Extra Moisturising Baby Cream is great because it has a really nourishing formula that protects against dryness. There’s also a JOHNSON’S top-to-toe Massage Lotion if you prefer a lighter texture. And most babies love being massaged which is a good way to bond while moisturizing the skin with Johnson’s top-to-toe Baby Oil – double benefit!

newborn rashes

10 Common Newborn Baby Rashes You Need to Know About:

1. Milia (blocked oil glands)

Most newborn babies end up getting Milia immediately after they’re born – these are small white spots on their face, especially on the nose. It is caused by blocked pores and usually clear within the first four weeks of life.

newborn rashes

2. Erythema Toxicum

This is the “normal” newborn rash that freaks out many first-time moms! Most newborns end up developing small yellow or white bumps surrounded by red skin blotchy which usually shows only at two or three days old. The rash is harmless, not contagious, and normally clears up within a week.

newborn rashes

3. Baby acne

The one rash I love to hate! Baby acne can last up to 6 weeks and can be torture for a mom! It’s pimples that develop on a baby’s cheeks and nose. They normally tend to get worse before clearing up completely.

4. Eczema

My second born Kiaan ended up getting eczema when he was a couple of days old. It was terrifying for me because no one in the family has this. I researched a lot and I ended up visiting a skin specialist to get a second opinion because my baby was so miserable. Eczema can be a long-term condition however many babies tend to outgrow it, like my son did, before the age of one. It causes the skin to become itchy, red, dry and cracked. The most common form is atopic eczema – it mainly affects babies and children and it usually occurs in areas with folds of skin.

newborn rashes

5. Nappy rash

Nappy rash is an inflammation of the skin (dermatitis). The rash can be caused by several things including the irritation of urine against the baby’s skin. Almost every mom struggles with nappy rash, however, it is quite easy to treat –  Leave baby’s nappy opened for a few minutes every day in the sun before bath time. Your baby can develop a serious case of nappy rash which then would need medication prescribed from the Paed.

6. Heat rash

A heat rash (prickly heat) may flare up if your baby starts to sweat – so make sure you don’t overdress your baby during those hot summer days especially when they are visiting with you. Heat rash is tiny red bumps or blisters on baby’s skin and normally clears up quite quickly.

7. Keratosis pilaris (‘chicken skin’)

Chicken skin looks like your baby’s body is covered in Goosebumps. There isn’t a cure for it, the condition is harmless, very common and shouldn’t bother baby in any way.

8. Drool rash

It’s important to make sure you wipe baby’s mouth after every feed and especially when they drool because a baby can end up getting a drool rash which is soreness of the skin around the mouth and the cheek due to excessive saliva.

9. Cradle Cap

Cradle cap is also another common inflammatory skin condition that appears as deep-red bumps and yellow crusty scales and flakes. It usually starts on the head and can also be seen on the eyebrows, scalp, neck, and shoulders. Baby’s skin can feel itchy and without proper treatment, some infants may scratch affected areas, which can lead to redness, bleeding, and an infection.

newborn rashes

10. Slapped cheek syndrome

Slapped cheek syndrome (also known as ‘fifth disease’) is a viral infection that is common in children and babies. It causes a bright red rash on both cheeks and a fever. Most babies will not need treatment as slapped cheek syndrome is usually a mild condition that passes in a few days.


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No one told me about the skin conditions that they could develop during the first few weeks and about how common this is with newborn babies!

Hi, I’m Shan. I’m an entrepreneur and a sucker for good adventures. I was listed in Forbes Africa 30 under 30 2019 and just recently launched my start-up – MomSays.

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  1. 2018-05-05 / 10:42

    Thanks For sharing, I found this very information

  2. 2019-10-31 / 05:45

    Very informative post and very helpful to me as I have recently given birth to a baby girl. I am glad that I found your post as you have described various rashes in a simple way. Keep sharing your knowledge with moms.

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