You may be familiar with the saying “soft and smooth as a baby’s skin.” Babies, however, do not always have silky smooth skin and may have a variety of harmless colors, splotches, and rashes. Here are some common and very visible skin conditions of new babies.

“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 no longer noticeable.

Mongolian Spots

These are blue or slate-gray splotches that are most commonly 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 have this condition, which resembles a tiny raised or pimple like rash scattered over a red base. It may be found in any skin region and be either isolated or clustered in large splotches. Rarely, however, is it seen on the palms or soles of feet.

Sebaceous Hypoplasia

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

Treatment

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, medical attention is required.

Your baby’s skin may be soft, but don’t be surprised when a colorful variety of bumps and splotches occur as well. Remember that a new baby’s skin may be dry and even a bit scaly.  A soothing, non-allergenic lotion can help keep your baby’s skin smooth.