Infants are born with perfectly smooth, soft skin. There is a reason the phrase "smooth as a baby's bottom" and not any other age group. Babies can get bumps, rashes and even acne and most skin problems can be cleared up with over the counter creams or lotions, but there are some conditions that mean something worse and a doctor will need to be consulted. Below are some skin problems that are easily solved with over the counter creams or treatments and signs you need to take your baby to the doctor.
Cradle cap is one of the most common problems. It looks like baby dandruff and it's totally harmless(although probably itchy). There are shampoos designed to help but it's really a sign the baby may have a (harmless) condition called Seborrheic Dermatitis.
Seborrheic Dermatitis is a chronic condition caused by overactive sweat glands. It involves redness, scaly patches, and dandruff. It typically affects the scalp (some call it "eczema of the scalp") and can reach the ears (behind especially) and eyebrows.
Eczema is another very common condition that goes along with asthma or allergies. It's itchy, burns and is uncomfortable but 100% harmless. It is typically caused by sensitive skin or allergies and there are a lot of lotions and creams that are designed with infants in mind to help.
We typically think of acne as an adult or teen condition but babies can have blackheads, whiteheads, and pimples as well, known as baby acne. Acne treatments are meant for teens or adults and are too harsh for baby skin, but keeping up with washing baby's face (and time) will help the acne go away.
But when should you see a doctor?
If you notice a butterfly-shaped rash along the cheeks and nose, talk to your doctor. If there are any other symptoms especially. The red rash is one of the major signs of an autoimmune disease, Lupus.
Babies can get yeast infections and allergic reactions can also show up as a diaper rash. See your doctor if your baby develops diaper rash that does not go away with treatment or that looks like hives.
This goes without saying, but if you have just introduced the baby to a new food or anything else and they start breaking out in skin-colored or pink raised welts, they need to see a pediatrician. If the baby is itching and uncomfortable, they especially need to be looked at and the food or product needs to be tested because allergies can get more serious the more they are exposed.
Red, extremely itchy bumps and blisters that randomly appear then disappear chronically need to be looked at as well. There is an autoimmune condition called Dermatitis Herpiformis that comes with gluten consumption. It can be on its own or a symptom of Celiac Disease. It cannot be self-diagnosed by looking at pictures, it needs to be medically diagnosed.
There are many diseases that start with rashes, so if your baby has a major or minor rash and it's not obvious, you need to get baby checked.