Erythema toxicum

Alternative Names

Erythema toxicum neonatorum

Definition of Erythema toxicum

Erythema toxicum is a common, noncancerous skin condition seen in newborns.

Causes, incidence, and risk factors

Erythema toxicum may appear in 50 percent or more of all normal newborn infants. It usually appears in term infants between the ages of 3 days and 2 weeks.

Symptoms

The main symptom is a rash of small, yellow-to-white colored papules surrounded by red skin. There may be a few or several papules. They usually appear on the face and middle of the body, but may also be seen on the upper arms and thighs.

Signs and tests

Examination by your health care provider during a routine well-baby exam is usually sufficient to make the diagnosis. No testing is usually needed.

Treatment

The large red splotches typically disappear without any treatment or changes in skin care.

Expectations (prognosis)

The rash usually clears within 2 weeks. It is usually completely gone by age 4 months.

Review

Rachel A Lewis, MD, FAAP, Columbia University Pediatric Faculty Practice, New York, NY. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc. – 8/24/2009

Neonate

ADAM Medical Encyclopedia

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