ERYTHEMA TOXICUM NEONATORUM
Also known as erythema toxicum,urticaria neonatorum and toxic erythema of the newborn is a common rash in neonates. It appears in up to half of newborns carried to term, usually between day 2–5 after birth; it does not occur outside the neonatal period.
Erythema toxicum is characterized by blotchy red spots on the skin with overlying white or yellow papules or pustules.These lesions may be few or numerous. The eruption typically resolves within first two weeks of life and frequently individual lesions will appear and disappear within minutes or hours. It is a benign condition thought to cause no discomfort to the baby.
The rash is composed of small papular lesions, each on a separate reddened base.
The cause of erythema toxicum is thought to be an activation of the immune system. Some neonates are more sensitive than others and develop erythematous spots all over the body. Another theory is hypersensitivity to detergents in bedsheets and clothing is sometimes suspected, but the connection remains unproven.
It is thought to be a benign condition that causes no discomfort to the infant. The rash will generally disappear spontaneously in about 2 weeks.
Because the eruption is transient and self-limiting, no treatment is indicated.
Dr Atul Chowdhury