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Common skin conditions your baby might face

Did you know that historically, the late-summer months are when obstetricians see an increase in the arrival of newborns? It's an interesting statistic, and since we're nearing the end of summer, we thought it would be a good time to share some of the most common skin conditions that infants can develop.

Diaper Rash

Diaper rash is a condition that causes skin underneath a diaper to become red and tender. Babies have very delicate skin, so sometimes, despite your best efforts, diaper rash can still occur. The best way to prevent and treat diaper rash is to keep a baby's skin as clean as possible. Tips to prevent and treat diaper rash include:

  • Change dirty diapers as soon as possible. This reduces moisture on the skin that can inflame a rash.
  • Be gentle when cleaning the diaper area. Never use wipes that contain alcohol or fragrances. Remember to let the area air dry and let your child go diaper-free as long as possible to let skin dry and heal.
  • Apply a zinc oxide diaper cream. There is no need to remove the cream with each diaper change; it can be fully removed at the end of the day.
  • Seek medical care right away if your baby develops signs of a skin infection. These signs may include a fever, blisters, pus that drains from the rash, and a rash that does not go away after treatment or worsens. You should also keep an eye out for your child being in pain or being hard to console.


Eczema is a common skin disease in children and is referred to by several names: eczema (the most common name), dermatitis, atopic eczema, and atopic dermatitis. Often children will get eczema during their first year, which presents as dry and scaly patches on the scalp, forehead, and face. The condition is often very itchy, which can keep infants from sleeping and scratching can lead to an infection. In most cases, eczema will improve with good skincare. Here are a few tips to reduce the severity and frequency of flare-ups:

  • Only take quick baths in warm (not hot) water. Try to keep their time in the tub to 10 minutes or less. Additionally, only use a cleanser that is mild and fragrance-free.
  • Unscented does not mean fragrance-free. When it comes to cleansers, moisturizers, baby wipes, and even laundry detergent, look for products labeled fragrance-free. Unscented means that a fragrance is masked, so you cannot smell it. Fragrance-free means the products is free of all fragrances, even ones that you cannot smell.
  • Apply medicine or moisturizer after a shower or bath. Gently pat dry your child's skin, and apply when the skin is almost dry.

Cradle Cap

Cradle cap is a type of seborrheic dermatitis that develops in babies. Scaly, greasy patches form on the baby's scalp, which can become thick and crusty. The good news is that many infants get cradle cap, but it is harmless. It usually goes away on its own between 6 months and 1 year of age. If your child develops cradle cap, here are some easy treatment tips to follow:

  • Shampoo the baby's scalp daily with a baby shampoo.
  • Gently brush away the scale, once scale starts to soften.
  • Apply medication, if recommended by a board-certified dermatologist.

What to Do About Baby Skin Conditions

As a busy parent, it's often difficult to get to the doctor's office. The DermatologistOnCall network of board-certified dermatologists is a great solution to receive specialty care for your child without having to leave home. Simply start by creating an account for your child (you'll be asked a few questions as a surrogate), upload photos of their condition and then receive a diagnosis and treatment plan – usually within 24 hours. Prescriptions, if necessary, will even be sent to your preferred pharmacy.