Identifying Newborn Rashes

Newborns commonly develop various types of rashes during the first few weeks of life. Identifying rashes in newborns involves observing the characteristics of the rash, as well as any accompanying symptoms. Common newborn rashes include erythema toxicum (small, yellow-white spots surrounded by redness), milia (tiny, white, pimple-like spots), and baby acne (red or white bumps on the face). Diaper rash, characterized by red, irritated skin in the diaper area, is also common.

While many newborn rashes are harmless and resolve on their own, some may indicate an infection or allergic reaction. If a rash is accompanied by other symptoms such as fever, lethargy, or poor feeding, or if the rash doesn’t improve within a few days, seek medical attention from a paediatric dermatologist.

Common Types of Newborn Rashes

This appears as tiny, red or white bumps on the face of a newborn. This occurs because of the effect of maternal hormones on the baby’s oil glands and usually resolves on its own within a few weeks.

These are small, white, pimple-like bumps or “cysts” on the newborn’s face. These are very common and usually resolve on their own.

This may appear as flat red patches and/or small white to yellow bumps (“pustules”) on the baby’s face, trunk and limbs and typically occurs within the first days after birth. The newborn is otherwise well. These rashes will wax and wane over a few days and usually disappear on their own within a week or so.

This refers to red, scaly patches in the diaper region. It is often related to wet and infrequently changed diapers, friction or sensitivity to diapers or wet wipes. Regular changing of diapers, keeping the area clean and dry, and using appropriate barrier ointments can help to keep this at bay.

This presents as tiny red bumps or tiny blisters in areas such as the neck, trunk and groin. This occurs in very hot, humid climates or if the newborn is dressed too warmly. Dressing the baby in breathable, light-weight clothing and keeping them cool can help to prevent this.

This is commonly seen in newborn babies and commonly affects the scalp, and sometimes spreads to the face, back of ears and the body. This is not contagious and the child remains well and unaffected. It can spontaneously resolve within a few weeks to a few months. If it still persists, your doctor may prescribe some topical treatment and care.

Treatment and Management of Newborn Rashes

In most cases, newborn rashes are harmless and will resolve on their own without any intervention. However, there are steps you can take to help manage and soothe your baby’s skin:

  • Keep your baby’s skin clean and dry, especially in areas prone to irritation, such as the diaper area and around the mouth.
  • Avoid using harsh soaps or detergents on your baby’s skin, as these can cause further irritation.
  • Dress your baby in loose, breathable clothing to prevent overheating and sweating.
  • If your baby has a teething rash, consider using a barrier cream around their mouth to protect their skin from excess drool.
  • For diaper rash, use a zinc oxide-based diaper cream to soothe and protect the skin.

When to Consult a Paediatric Dermatologist

While most newborn rashes are harmless and will resolve on their own, it’s essential to know when to seek professional advice. Seek medical advice if:

  • Your baby’s rash appears suddenly and is accompanied by a fever or other signs of illness.
  • The rash is not improving or worsening after a few days.
  • There is discharge, pus, or crusting around the rash.
  • Your baby appears to be in pain or is excessively fussy.
  • The rash is spreading rapidly or is located near your baby’s eyes or mouth.

Tips for Preventing and Soothing Newborn Skin Irritations

In most cases, newborn rashes are harmless and will resolve on their own without any intervention. However, there are steps you can take to help manage and soothe your baby’s skin:

  • Keep your baby’s skin clean and dry.
  • Use gentle, fragrance-free products on your baby’s skin.
  • Dress your baby in soft, breathable clothing.
  • Change your baby’s diaper frequently to prevent diaper rash.
  • Use a barrier cream on your baby’s diaper area to prevent diaper rash.
  • Avoid exposing your baby to extreme temperatures.
  • Keep your baby’s fingernails trimmed to prevent scratching.
  • Use a humidifier in your baby’s room to prevent dry skin.
  • Avoid using fabric softeners or dryer sheets that can irritate your baby’s skin.
  • Avoid harsh soaps and other chemicals which may irritate your baby’s skin.

Billing & Insurance

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Modern & Patient-Centred Dermatological Care

We are dedicated to your skin health and well-being. Our results-oriented approach is suitable for a wide range of hair, skin and nail conditions. Consult our MOH-accredited dermatologist for a personalised treatment plan.


Personalised Treatment Plans


Results-Oriented Approach


Focused Aftercare For All


Honest & Ethical Practices

Dr. Lee Hwee Chyen

Medical Director & Consultant Dermatologist

MBBS (S'pore) MRCP (UK) FAMS (Dermatology)

Special Interests In:
  • Paediatric Dermatology
  • Women’s Dermatology
  • Procedural Dermatology & Lasers

Dr. Lee Hwee Chyen is an accredited Adult & Paediatric dermatologist managing a wide range of skin, hair and nail conditions. The clinic provides services for medical, surgical, cosmetic, women’s and paediatric dermatology.

  • MBBS (National University of Singapore, Singapore)
  • MRCP (Royal College of Physicians, United Kingdom)
  • Specialist Accreditation Board, Dermatology (Singapore)
  • FAMS (Academy of Medicine of Singapore, Singapore)
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    Frequently Asked Questions

    If the rash is accompanied by a fever or other signs of illness, doesn’t improve or worsens after a few days, consult a specialist.

    Consult with a specialist before using any over-the-counter creams or medications on your baby’s rash.

    Yes, excessive drooling due to teething can cause a rash on your baby’s face.

    While you can’t always prevent newborn rashes, there are steps you can take to minimize your baby’s risk, such as keeping their skin clean and dry, using gentle products, and dressing them in loose, breathable clothing.