Newborns have skin that is pink or light brown in color. Mucous membranes of the lips and inside the mouth are pink in color. Some blueness of the hands and feet are normal the first two to three days.
Peeling or cracking skin around the wrists or ankles is common, especially in babies who have gone past their due date. As new skin cells grow, this condition will clear up without treatment.
Lanugo is the name of the downy fuzz sometimes seen on the backs, arms and ears of newborn babies. It disappears in a few weeks.
Milia are tiny yellow-white cysts on the nose, forehead and cheeks. Do not squeeze them. They will go away by themselves.
Vernix is the creamy substance that protected your baby’s skin while in the uterus. It may be seen in skin folds. Some parents remove vernix shortly after birth while wiping the baby down and bathing it, while others choose to leave it in place. The moisturizing properties of the coating help prevent drying and cracking of infant skin. It is absorbed by the skin in a few days.
All these conditions are normal and disappear rapidly as the baby grows and adjusts to life outside the womb.
A raised pimple-like rash around the cord or genital area may occur. Usually this rash clears up with normal bathing or exposure to air. See your baby’s doctor if the rash does not go away or gets worse. Your doctor will check for any blister-like rash that ruptures, leaves a scab or continues to spread.
Skin rashes can also result from overdressing or harsh laundry soaps. As your baby becomes warm and sweats, skin irritation develops. This is especially common in the skin folds. To prevent rashes, keep these areas clean and dry and avoid overdressing the baby. Try milder laundry soap and rinse clothing twice if possible.