Getting to know your baby’s skin

We are all pre-conditioned to believe that baby’s skin should be soft, smooth and near perfect. But nothing can be farther from the truth. In fact, if you look closely at your baby’s skin, you will see that it is far from perfect. Baby’s skin has lines, bruises, blotches, spots and specks. All these imperfections are normal and are bound to disappear in time. The remarkable thing about your baby’s skin is that it changes so quickly, sometimes change can happen within in hours.

Stork Bites – Reddish-pink marks usually found on baby’s nape, on the middle of the forehead and eyelids. They sometime look like rashes but they are not. Stork bites are just bunched up overgrown blood vessels that are showing through your baby’s thin skin. These blood vessels will eventually shrink, and your baby’s skin will thicken. By your baby’s first birthday, the mark would have faded or disappeared.

Milia – This looks like whiteheads dotted over your baby’s face, particularly on the nose. They are caused by blockage on your baby’s skin pores. Don’t be tempted to squeeze them out, like you would with ordinary whiteheads. They are normal and will eventually disappear without treatment.

Toxic Erythema or Baby Acne – The name may sound alarming but this yellowish-white spots surrounded with red blotchy ring is pretty harmless. The cause of this skin abnormality is unknown, and although the tiny spots are filled with puss, it is not an infection. It is quite common in healthy babies, particularly with boys, and they can start to appear around two days after birth. By the time your baby is two weeks’ old, toxic erythema will have disappeared without any treatment.

Mongolian blue spots – Also known as ‘spank’ marks. This is more common with babies with dark skin and of Asian or Afro-Caribbean descent. Unfortunately, this is not very common in white babies, so parents’ with babies who have Mongolian blue spots can sometimes be subject to disapproving looks from people who think they have been beating their children. If your baby is mixed race and born with Mongolian Blue Spots, the midwife will record this, so that you can declare it anytime you need to. These spots will eventually disappear by your child’s eight birthday.

Café-au-lait spots – This posh sounding skin mark are flat and brown, and look like tiny puddles of coffee and cream, hence the French name. They don’t grow any bigger as your baby grows, so it will get relatively smaller, but may not totally disappear.

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