Printer Friendly VersionEmail A FriendAdd ThisIncrease Text SizeDecrease Text Size

Erythema toxicum



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

Alternative Names

Erythema toxicum neonatorum


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.

Its cause is unknown.

The condition may be present in the first few hours of life, generally appears after the first day, and may last for several days. Although the condition is harmless, it can be of great concern to the new parent.


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.

The rash can change rapidly, appearing and disappearing in different areas over hours to days.

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.

Support Groups

Expectations (prognosis)

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

See also: Milia

Calling your health care provider

Discuss the condition with your health care provider during a routine examination if you are concerned.


There are no complications.


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


Review Date: 8/24/2009
Reviewed By: 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.
A.D.A.M., Inc. is accredited by URAC, also known as the American Accreditation HealthCare Commission ( URAC's accreditation program is an independent audit to verify that A.D.A.M. follows rigorous standards of quality and accountability. A.D.A.M. is among the first to achieve this important distinction for online health information and services. Learn more about A.D.A.M.'s editorial policy, editorial process and privacy policy. A.D.A.M. is also a founding member of Hi-Ethics and subscribes to the principles of the Health on the Net Foundation (
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- 2009 A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.

Home Page
Why Choose Us
Website Terms of Use

Visitor & Patient Info
Patient Portal
We Speak Your Language
Patient Privacy
Contact Us

Find a Physician
Medical Services
Maimonides In the News
Directions & Parking

Medical Education
Career Opportunities
Nurses & Physicians
Staff Intranet Access
Maimonides Medical Center    |    4802 Tenth Avenue    |    Brooklyn, NY 11219    |    718.283.6000    |