Not Quite Picture-Perfect

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Condition
Description
Cause
Care Advise
Caution
Blocked tear duct
One or both eyes tear repeatedly
The tears normally produced to keep the eye moist usually drain from the eyes through ducts in the
nose; in some newborn, this drainage path isn't fully developed, so they drain continually down the cheeks instead.
Your baby's doctor may show you how to massage the duct area to unblock it. This may not have
any effect, however, and the duct may simply need to mature on its own (in as much as a year or two).
Eye infection can result-watch for
yellow discharge, redness, or swelling. Antibiotic drops
may be prescribed. In the case of repeat infections, surgery may be recommended to open the duct.
Soft spots on head
(fontanels)
A newborn's skull has two soft places-one in the front and one near the back.
The bones haven't yet Fused in these places (which helped
the head pass through the birth canal more easily and allows
brain growth after birth).
They require no special care-don't
be afraid to touch, brush, or wash these areas.
A sunken fontanel is a sign of dehydration, while one that bulges
can indicate serious illness. Tell your doctor immediately (A fontanel that pulsates is normal.)
Diaper rash
Angry red rash on buttocks or genital area.
Imitation of skin by urine or fecal matter - chafing can lead to bacterial or yeast infections.
Apply zinc oxide or other diaper-rash ointment to seal out moisture and soothe the skin. So air can keep the rash dry, try closing diapers more loosely, using a larger size, or letting the infant sleep without a diaper. Avoid plastic pants.
Call doctor if rash persists more than 3 days or if blisters or sores develop.
Cradle cap
Oily crusting on scalp (also other places sebaceous glands are present, including face, chest, and armpits). Sometimes thick and yellowish or reddish, or as slight-looking as dandruff. Appears at 3 to 4 weeks and usually disappears within 6 months.
Possibly due to maternal hormones from the womb.
If on scalp, wash hair daily with mild shampoo and brush away scales with a soft brush. The rash causes no discomfort to the baby.
Call doctor if skin oozes or appears red medicated shampoo may be prescribed for severe cases.
Not Quite Picture-Perfect?
Even after a newborn has been cleaned up in the delivery room and brought home, many new parents feel shock or worry upon detecting some common, but unexpected aspect of their baby's appearance. To ease your concerns, check this guide:
Eczema
(atopic dermatitis)
Red, scaly, itchy rash on face and body marked by fluid-filled
bumps that can open and crust over. Generally disappears by toddlerhood.
Often associated with asthma and allergies to food, pollen, and fabric;
tends to be inherited.
Try to figure out the dietary triggers and avoid them. Use smooth-textured clothing, blankets. and sheets (100%
cotton is best); avoid excessive bathing and extreme temperatures. Run a cool-air
humidifier to keep air moist and cool. A doctor can recommend
soothing ointments and medication.
One-third of infants with eczema later develop asthma or other allergies.
Heat rash
(Prickly heat)
Pink or white bumpy rash usually found in the skin creases of the neck, armpits, and diaper area.
Common in summer,
it's caused by a temporary blockage of sweat glands - preventing sweat from reaching the skin's surface to evaporate, causing a rash.
Keep skin cool and dry; dress the baby loosely Don't apply oil or cream, which further blocks pores.
Severe cases can become infected.
Thrush
Textured white patches on tongue, cheeks, lips, and roof of mouth; often mistaken for milk at first, but if rubbed off, the skin underneath will redden and bleed.
Yeast infection (Candida albicans),
probably from exposure in birth canal.
Prescription
liquid anti-fungicide.
A breastfeeding baby can pass thrush to mother, causing burning sensation in nipples; air-dry them after a feeding to prevent yeast's growth Antifungal cream may be prescribed for infected breasts; the
infant will also be treated.
Salmon patches
(nevus simplex)
Dull red to pink
birthmarks, often at
the back of the neck,
hence the name stork
bites (also called angel's kisses when on the forehead). Usually fade with time and disappear.
A cluster of large, visible blood vessels that disappears as the skin thickens and the blood
vessels shrink.
No special care necessary
None.
Strawberry marks
(hemangiomas)
Raised, solid red
bumps resembling
the fruit for which
they are named; size
Enlarged blood vessel.
No treatment necessary, though
when located on a lip or eye,
None
Mongolian
spots
Deep gray or bluish patches, usually on buttocks or lower back, most common on babies of African- American, Asian, Indian, or Mediterranean descent; sometimes mistaken for bmises.
Disappear during early childhood.
Accumulations of pigment in a given area.
No special care necessary.
Port wine stains
(nevus flammeus
First pink, then deep purple, these relatively
uncommon marks
usually occur on the
face and neck or the
limbs on one side of
the body They may fade over time but rarely disappear
Cause unknown
Some can be removed by laser
when baby is older, They should be
evaluated by a doctor.