Newborn Skin: Common Skin Problems

Maedica (Bucur). 2017 Jan;12(1):42-47.


The newborn skin can be separated from adult's skin in several ways. In dermatologic examination it can be easily observed that it is thinner, less hairy and has less sweat and sebaceous gland secretions. These differentiations present especially in preterm newborns. Their skin is exposed to mechanical trauma, bacteria and weather, heat alterations. At birth, newborn skin is protected by the coverage of vernix caseosa, which has lubricating and antibacterial features and its pH ranges from 6.7 to 7.4. Beneath the vernix caseosa the skin has a pH of 5.5-6.0. In newborn dermatologic examination it is very important to distinguish transient benign dermatoses and severe diseases, make early diagnosis and treat congenital skin disorders. Although the benign cases are common in this life period, clinical presentations can be much more exaggerated, dramatic and cause a great deal of anxiety to parents. Therefore, as a doctor, knowing the dermatological, pathological and non-pathological common skin rashes guides the family in the right direction, offers advice to reduce uncertainty and time for the treatment of severe conditions and builds a confidential doctor-patient relationship. In this review, our aim is to provide a general overview to common skin rashes in newborn period.