5 Common Infant Skin Conditions and Tips to Care for Them

New parents are often surprised to discover that their newborn baby’s skin is far from being flawless. Why? Even though a baby’s skin performs the same essential functions as those of an adult, there are key differences. For starters, a baby’s epidermis is 3-5 times thinner than an adult’s, more permeable, less able to retain moisture and consequently, more susceptible to irritations. The good news is that most of these early skin conditions are harmless, and go away with a little bit of gentle care. Here are some tips to recognize the 5 most common skin conditions and how to care for them.

1. Cradle Cap

What does it look like?

Cradle cap is fairly common and typically appears as dandruff or patches of yellow, thick crusty skin on the scalp, eyebrows and around the ears. Although it may look unsightly, it is harmless and probably will not bother your baby at all.

Natural Healing Tips

Medically, the cause of cradle cap is unknown. However, those in the natural health sphere will tell you that cradle cap is a fungal condition and often linked to food-related intolerances. Many parents find that when they remove dairy from their baby’s diet (or the mother’s diet if breastfeeding), it clears up pretty quickly.

A great topical treatment is to apply Neem and Plantain-based baby oil, let it sit as long as you can, and then scrub off in the bath using a baby brush or your fingers. Then wash as usual. Just be careful not to get any into baby’s mouth. Or

2. Heat rash/prickly heat

What does it look like?

Tiny red bumps, pimples or spots. Typically appears on the back of the neck, face, lower back but can cover the entire trunk.

Natural Healing Tips

Since a baby’s skin is unable to regulate temperature well, the best way to treat this is by cooling your baby off – get them out of the heat and dress in loose, cool cotton or other breathable (linen, bamboo) clothing. Or better yet, let them run around naked for a little bit.

3. Eczema

What does it look like?

May appear as tiny red bumps that ooze, crust over and can become infected when scratched; or as dry, scaly patches. In many babies it is typically accompanied by itching, often at night.

While its cause is still considered unknown, there is growing evidence that eczema is an autoimmune disease of the skin. Many children outgrow it around their second year, with others exhibiting symptoms until their teens or longer.

Triggers – Eczema may be triggered by allergens, external irritants, and diet can play a significant role as well.

Natural Healing Tips 

Many people who have successfully treated their eczema began by eliminating food groups including gluten, soy and diary. Keep household irritants to a minimum by choosing wipes, lotions, detergents, soaps and other cleaning and personal-care products that are free from dyes and scents. Treat outbreaks with the right emollient, designed for sensitive baby skin. And consider a balm over a lotion. Lotions can temporarily soothe the itchiness of eczema but a balm will do the same in addition to sealing the skin. Our Intensive Baby Balm is a great choice – hypoallergenic and blended with high-quality organic ingredients to soothe and nourish dry, irritated skin.

4. Contact dermatitis

What does it look like?

Red itchy bumps, typically confined to a few small areas on a part of skin that came into contact with something that your baby had a reaction to - anything from soaps and detergents to plants.

Natural Healing Tips

If the rash is dry and/or itchy, use a hypoallergenic, moisturizing treatment meant for sensitive skin. Identify the trigger and remove it – these could be anything from artificial fragrances, dyes in your baby’s soap/lotions, to chemicals found in laundry detergents, to contact with specific plants and/or grass. For best results, use a gentle, Castile -based soap or baby wash

5. Diaper rash

What does it look like?

Most parents are familiar with diaper rash and what it looks like. The distinguishing feature of this type of rash of course, is the area where it appears. The diaper area is mostly warm and moist, add to it some poop and pee, and it becomes a veritable breeding ground for an uncomfortable, irritable rash.

Natural Healing Tips

There are a variety of things that can be done to soothe and heal a diaper rash naturally. Sometimes a bit of trial and error is needed to figure out what will work for your baby. Things that may help:

  • Frequent diaper changes
  • Diaper-free time outside when it is warm
  • Ensuring diaper area stays dry at all times (Use a talc and cornstarch-free powder if needed)
  • Avoiding soap, laundry detergent, lotions, balm and wipes that contain mineral oil, dyes, fragrances, alcohol, parabens and sulfates
  • Applying a Neem-based lotion/balm if you suspect the culprit to be yeast (Read about the amazing benefits of Neem here). Coconut Oil and Tea Tree Oil are also good options, however remember to dilute Tea Tree Oil before application as it will burn if applied undiluted!
  • Applying 24-hour fermented yogurt if you suspect the culprit to be yeast
  • Stripping cloth diapers - cloth diapers can accumulate detergent and/or diaper-cream buildup, which can cause a diaper rash. The 2 easiest ways of stripping cloth diapers are by:

-Boiling, to kill lingering bacteria

-Soaking overnight with vinegar or oxygen bleach before washing with a fragrance-free , natural laundry detergent. For best results, wash the diapers in hot water only, one last time after the detergent cycle to ensure no residue remains.


Disclaimer – The information provided on this site should not be construed as personal medical advice or instruction. No action should be taken based solely on the contents of this site. Readers should consult appropriate health professionals on any matter relating to their or their baby’s health and well-being.

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