Erythema toxicum is a common rash seen in full-term newborns. It usually appears in the first few days after birth and fades within a week.
Up to half of all newborns will have erythema toxicum (air-uh-THEE-muh TOK-sih-kum). The rash can be on the baby's face, chest, arms, and legs, but usually won't be on the palms or soles of the feet. It's a blotchy red rash with small bumps that can be filled with fluid. Although the fluid might look like pus, there is no infection.
Erythema toxicum — also called erythema toxicum neonatorum (ETN) — doesn't cause any symptoms and goes away on its own. So, no treatment is needed.
You can care for your newborn's skin normally:
Sponge bathe your baby with a gentle washcloth until the umbilical cord falls off, which usually takes about 1–4 weeks.
Do not bathe your baby in a tub until after the first week of life and after the umbilical cord has fallen off.
Most babies only need to be bathed 2–3 times per week.
Use warm water and a baby-specific liquid cleanser that is mild and unscented.
Call your doctor if:
The skin bumps get worse or have not gone away by the time your baby is about 2 weeks old.
Your baby develops a new rash.
Your baby isn't feeding well.
Your baby has a fever of 100.4°F (38°C) or higher when the temperature is taken rectally.