You may be familiar with the old saying “ soft and smooth as a baby’s skin.” Babies, however, do not always have silky smooth skin and even may have a variety of colors, splotches and rashes that cause concern or worry for new parents.

What follows is a description of some common and very visible skin conditions of new babies that are a part of their collection of innocent surprises.

“Stork Bite” or Nevus Simplex:

These pale pink salmon patches are seen in up to half of all newborn babies. They are most noticeable on the forehead, neck (hence the popular name “stork bite”), eyelids and upper lip. The patches on the face disappear a few weeks after birth but the ones on the neck may persist. As hair grows, they are generally covered and then are no longer noticed.

Mongolian Spots:

These are blue or slate-gray splotches that most commonly are located on the lower back or buttocks. They may occasionally be seen on the shoulders, legs and thighs. Although seen in any ethnic group, they occur more frequently in darkly pigmented populations.

Erythema Toxicum:

Roughly half of all newborn babies will have this condition that resembles a tiny raised or pimple like rash scattered over a red base. They may be found in any skin regions and may be isolated or clustered in large splotches. Rarely if ever, however, are they seen on the palms or soles.

Sebaceous Hypoplasia:

Basically, this term applies to an over activity of the oil glands in the new baby’s skin. This rash consists of numerous yellow-white tiny raised bumps most commonly seen on the forehead, nose, upper lip and cheeks of full term new born babies.  They usually disappear in the first week after birth.

Treatment:

None of these “baby spots” described require treatment.

Call the Doctor if:

The skin conditions named here require no treatment and, for the most part, disappear in time. If however, large pustules, blisters or areas of “weeping” skin are noted, then medical attention is required.

So, “soft as a baby’s skin” may be true but don’t be surprised when a colorful variety of bumps and splotches occur as well. Remember that a new baby’s skin nay be dry and even a bit scaly. Use of a soothing, non-allergenic lotion is helpful, if indeed you are seeking to keep your baby’s skin soft and smooth.