Baby spots and rashes in pictures

Milk spots, baby eczema, heat rash, or something more serious? Our pictures and expert advice will help you recognise the most common baby rashes and spots and explain how to treat them too…

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Nappy Rash

What does nappy rash look like?

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Sore, angry, red skin, which can sometimes look quite pimply too.

Where?

On or around your baby’s bottom and genitals.

Who gets it?

Babies who suffer from eczema or dry skin are more prone to nappy rash but it also occurs if your baby’s nappies have been left on for too long when wet.

What can you do?

Health visitor Annette Maloney says the best way to prevent nappy rash is to change your baby’s nappy as soon as it’s wet or dirty. “Clean your little one’s bottom thoroughly at each change starting at the front and working towards her bottom, using mild wipes or plain water, then gently pat dry, particularly in the creases,” says Annette. And if it’s really bad, let your little one have some time without a nappy on. “Put your baby on a towel covered mat on the floor with no nappy so that the air can circulate and help the nappy rash clear up,” says Annette.

A Mum’s story…

MFMer Rebecca found a solution to her baby’s nappy rash, “Annabel gets bad nappy rash (especially when teething). I feel like I’ve tried everything! The one thing I swear by is Metanium. It works. It stays where you apply it and really has been a top product for us.”

Photo: DR P. MARAZZI/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
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Milk spots – tiny pearly white spots

Milk Spots

What do milk spots look like?

Tiny, pearly white spots that feel hard to the touch.

Where?

Usually around the eyes, cheeks, bridge of the nose and across the forehead, although they can also appear on your baby’s back and chest.

Who gets it?

As many as half of all babies will get milk spots, or milia, which are actually nothing to do with milk or feeding in any way. “They’re a result of your child’s glands not developing properly, causing oil to get trapped and form spots,” explains midwife, Karina Dyer.

What can you do?

As milk spots only last for a few weeks and cause no harm, the best thing to do is leave them alone, advises GP, Dr Suni Perera. ‘Picking or prising out the spot could cause scarring as this will break the skin surface, which acts as a natural protective barrier,’ says Dr Perera.

A Mum’s story…

MFMer mojo75 says, “my baby girl had milk spots around her eyes, nose and mouth from week two to four. I cleaned them with warm water until they cleared up.”

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A red pimply rash that can cover the body

Erythema toxicum / Newborn rash

What does erythema toxicum look like?

A red pimply rash

Where?

All over the body

Who gets it?

“The newborn rash, known as erythema toxicum, is an extremely common red pimply rash that occurs all over the body 24 hours after birth,” explains Dr Tim Clayton, consultant paediatric dermatologist at dermexpert.co.uk. “Nobody knows what causes it, but it’s completely harmless and goes away on its own after a week. It’s easy for a doctor to diagnose as the child will not have any other symptoms,” says Dr Clayton.

What can you do?

As it is harmless and causes no distress to your baby, do your best to ignore it. If you do use lotions or products make sure they are as mild as possible, fragrance-free and designed for babies.

A Mum’s story…

Moonminmummy, writing on the MFM forum says, “both my sons Owen and Theo had it and the hospital said to just wash the baby in water and only use non bio washing powder and no fabric conditioner.”

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Cradle cap can look unpleasant

Cradle Cap

What does cradle cap look like? 

Flaky, scaly skin that can look quite unsightly and crusty.

Where?

On your baby’s scalp.

Who gets it?

Cradle cap is the result of over-production of oil on the head although experts still don’t know exactly why it happens.

What can you do?

Cradle cap usually lasts around two weeks but the important thing is never to pick or scratch off the scales as this will make the skin sore. “Always leave them to drop off naturally,” says midwife, Karina Dyer. “You can help it by massaging vegetable oil into the scalp at night, then gently wash it out with a mild shampoo in the morning. If it persists, see your GP though,” says Karina.

A Mum’s story 

MFMer MrsDavy2be says, “my little one had quite bad cradle cap about two months ago and I`ve been using Dentinox cradle cap shampoo. I usually just wash it every other day, putting the shampoo on, leaving for about a minute and then rinsing off with warm water. Also, before she goes in the bath, I put some E45 cream on her hair a few hours earlier and brush with a baby brush to loosen the scales before washing. This was advised by my health visitor.”

Photo: IAN BODDY/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
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Baby acne looks like adult acne

Baby Acne

What does baby acne look like?

Like acne, funnily enough. In other words, red spots that are raised, angry looking and filled with fluid or pus.

Where?

Usually on your baby’s cheeks.

Who gets it?

Tends to break out in babies up to a month after they are born and often gets worse before it clears up. (Within a few weeks or months.)

What can you do?

Avoid over washing your little one and only use mild products, if any at all. “If it’s a severe case, the best thing is to see a dermatologist who’ll treat the problem with special creams,” advises Dr Tim Clayton.

A Mum’s story

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MFMer SarahandJustin says, “my baby Thomas is one month old already and now has baby acne. His face is so sore and spotty. The doctor has prescribed hydrocortisone to help it heal.”

Photo: DR P. MARAZZI/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

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