Common skin issues can temporarily mar baby-soft skin | by Debra Melani

Michael Contreras, MD

Posted on Thu, Jun 27, 2013

Although the little ones won’t shun social events or suffer blows to their self-esteem, acne and rashes, often in private places, can plague newborns from the start. Because rashes can signal more serious problems, Dr. Michael Contreras, a dermatologist with AboutSkin Dermatology at Sky Ridge and Swedish medical centers, advises parents to call their doctors promptly with any concerns. But for parents facing the non-emergency newborn surprises below, he offered some tips.

Where are my baby’s golden locks?

Almost all babies have some hair loss, although for some, it’s more dramatic (as in from monkey boy to baldy). No worries. Hair loss is normal, starting around 3 months and resolving between 6 and 12 months.

What? It’s too soon for acne!

Moms aren’t the only ones who have hormonal overload. Newborns get a good dose, too, sometimes turning a pretty, peach-fuzz baby face into a landmine of pimples (peaking at 2-4 weeks in half of infants). Tiny white cysts on the face are also common and generally go away within the first few weeks.

What’s wrong with junior’s head?

Many babies develop “cradle cap” within the first 10 weeks, a greasy, yellowish scaling on the head, face or diaper area. Applying mineral oil and gently lifting off scales with a baby comb can help, as can patience: It might not go away for a few months.

Oh, my baby’s poor bottom!

Protecting baby’s diaper area from the painful, red diaper rash involves vigilance in the changing department. That means changing him often, cleaning the area with warm, wet cotton balls, patting or air drying (beware parents of baby boys; those humorous waterworks moments are not just on TV), and using talc or baby powder. If a flare-up does happen, zinc oxide cream should work within two to three days; otherwise, parents should call the doctor.

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