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Skin characteristics in newborns

Definition

A newborn infant's skin goes through many changes both in appearance and texture.

Alternative Names

Newborn skin characteristics; Infant skin characteristics

Information

The skin of a healthy newborn at birth has:

Newborn skin will vary, depending on the length of the pregnancy. Premature infants have thin, transparent skin. The skin of a full-term infant is thicker.

By the baby's 2nd or 3rd day, the skin lightens somewhat and may become dry and flaky. The skin still often turns red when the infant cries. The lips, hands, and feet may turn bluish or spotted (mottled) when the baby is cold.

Other changes may include:

Colored birthmarks or skin markings may include:

Red birthmarks may include:

References

Olsson J. The newborn. In: Kliegman RM, Behrman RE, Jenson HB, Stanton BF, eds. Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics. 19th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2011:chap 7.  

Sahin M. Neurocutaneous syndromes. In: Kliegman RM, Behrman RE, Jenson HB, Stanton BF, eds. Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics. 19th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2011:chap 589.  


Review Date: 12/4/2013
Reviewed By: Neil K. Kaneshiro, MD, MHA, Clinical Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.
The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
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