Newborn Rash

This rash is also called erythema toxicum. It is a common skin condition that affects many newborns. It is not serious and not contagious.

The rash may appear as small blisters on a red base. The blisters may have a white or yellow liquid inside. Sometimes there are just red spots. The rash may be present at birth, but more often appears within 24 to 48 hours after birth. In most cases, it goes away within 1 week. No treatment is usually needed.

Home care

Bathe your baby as you normally would. No changes in skin care are needed.

Follow-up care

Follow up with the healthcare provider, or as advised.

When to seek medical advice

Call the healthcare provider right away if your baby:

  • Has a fever of 100.4°F (38°C) or higher. (Get medical care right away. Fever in a young baby can be a sign of dangerous infection.)

  • Has a rash that lasts longer than 1 week.

  • Has a rash that changes appearance or becomes dark purplish in color.

  • Won’t stop crying or is very fussy and can’t be soothed.

  • Appears very drowsy or limp.

  • Refuses to feed.

  • Shows signs of dehydration: No wet diapers for 6 to 8 hours or very dark, smelly urine; no tears when crying; or dry mouth and lips.

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