Top 3 Common Newborn Baby Skin Problems


 Wrinkles, acne, redness, spots, dryness and fuzz are just some common newborn baby skin problems.

Just think, For 9 months, your baby has been surrounded by amniotic fluid in the womb, so the weeks after birth, their skin is adjusting, maturing and developing its own natural protective barrier against the outside world.

Don’t forget, unlike your skin, a newborn skin is 30% thinner, and prone to irritation.

When born, a baby is covered in Vernix, the white substance that covers a baby’s skin whilst in the womb  It’s a natural mosturiser that acts as a barrier and protects against infection in the first few days.

That’s why if your baby is overdue, they often have dry, cracked skin, because all the vernix has been absorbed before they were born.


So, what are the most common newborn baby skin problems?


Baby Acne


Also called Neonatal Acne, it is a common newborn baby skin problem and in the majority of cases clears up within the first few months.  Mum’s maternal hormones are still circulating in a newborn baby’s bloodstream, and a baby’s sluggish oil producing glands, mean that hair follicles become blocked, leading to a build up of the natural oils secreted in their skin.

Apart from giving it time, there is not much you can do to treat infant acne.  It is vital that you don’t squeeze, pick or scrub acne. Clean the area with water two times a day, and carefully pat the skin dry.

As a baby’s skin is delicate, it is advisable to avoid using soap or lotions to the affected areas.




Nearly half of all newborn babies have milia. They usually disappear within the first few weeks, so nothing to worry about.  They are tiny, slightly raised white or yellowish spots, that normally appear across the nose, cheeks, chest, forehead or around the eyes. Each spot is usually about one or two millimeters in size.

Milia are blocked pores, thought to occur because your baby’s sweat glands haven’t yet fully developed.

As they leave no scarring and disappear on their own, please do not touch them.  It is best to just wash the area with water two times a day, and carefully pat the skin dry, and wait for them to clear on their own.


Dry, Flaky & Peeling Skin


In the first few days of a baby’s life, the top layer of their skin sheds.

Once the protective vernix layer (white substance covering them when born) has gone, this is when the peeling really starts.

It can be alarming for new parents to see the flaky, scaly skin coming away, but its very normal and doesn’t require any special treatment.

Some tips to help with peeling and flaky skins are

  1. Leave the vernix on- try and leave on for a little while too keep the skin moist, as the vernix acts as a mosturiser.
  2. Postpone your baby’s first bath.  At least until the umbilical cord has fallen off – give sponge baths in the meantime.
  3. Reduce the amount of baths – this will help with dryness. Its been suggested, three baths a week is sufficient and for not too long
  4. Avoid harsh soaps and bubble bath.  Plain water is perfect.  If you feel the need to use soap, always make sure its suitable for newborn babies
  5. Dry the skin carefully.  Pat gently.
  6. Apply a suitable moisturiser cream all over your baby’s body as often as needed to prevent dry


What are the best products to use on a newborn babies skin to help combat these common newborn baby skin problems?

As mentioned, often simple water is the best! However, if you want to consider a mosturiser to help aid drying skin, here is a great article on the best skincare products available for newborn babies.

It’s important to stress that all these 3 newborn baby skin conditions should clear on their own.  However, if you have any concerns or worries, please do check with your GP or midwife.

Hi, I’m Natalie, a photographer based in Pyrford, Woking Surrey.  My passion and speciality is newborn, baby and maternity photography.

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