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Erythema Toxicum Overview

Erythema Toxicum Symptoms

Seeing your newborn baby with a rash can be worrisome, but it's actually very common. There are a number of rashes that affect babies -- one of the most prevalent is erythema toxicum. If your baby develops this particular rash, there's no reason to get upset. It's no more harmful than common diaper rash, and it will clear up without any treatment. That doesn't mean, however, that you shouldn't consult a physician. If your baby develops a rash, it's always a good idea to get a proper diagnosis. Chances are your baby will be fine and you'll leave with a smile on your face.

Erythema toxicum is so common that the odds of your baby developing the rash are the same, if not better, than a coin flip. Right around 50 percent of all newborn babies develop the rash [source: Rauch]. Interestingly, it tends to affect babies that are carried to term more than thoseĀ  born prematurely, and the same can be said for babies weighing in at more than 5.5 pounds (2.5 kilograms). Occasionally, babies are born with the rash, but more often they develop it within a few days of birth [source: O'Connor, McLaughlin & Ham].

Erythema toxicum appears in the form of raised yellow or white spots surrounded by red skin. It tends to affect the head and torso but can also make its way to the upper arms and thighs. Symptoms can last anywhere from a couple hours to a couple weeks, but they'll fade on their own. It is possible for the rash to recur, but it isn't very common. The important thing to know is that it won't hurt your baby.

Keep reading to find out why treatment for erythema toxicum isn't necessary.