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Caring for Your Baby's Skin and Nails


newborn baby getting a bath with rubber ducky



Your baby's delicate skin and nails need extra care and attention.  

Here's some advice about what to expect, and how to keep them healthy.


A newborn's skin is normally soft and smooth but may be peeling or wrinkled in the first few days after birth.

Tiny Raised White Spots (Milia)

You may find tiny raised white spots on your newborn’s face. These spots are called milia and are normal. Your pregnancy hormones cause extra oil gland activity in your baby. Milia are caused by plugged oil glands and usually clear up within three to four weeks. Don’t try to pop or remove milia.

Newborn Rash

Newborn rashes are common in the first few months after birth. Generally, they're blotchy with tiny pinpoints can can be found anywhere on the body. This type of rash is normal and will pass on its own with no treatment.

When to Get Help

If a newborn rash flares up and becomes red, itches and oozes fluid, call your healthcare provider. For more information determining if a rash is serious and when to get help, visit the HealthLink BC website and search for "rashes." Or you can call HealthLink BC at 8-1-1 for free, confidential help and advice.


Keep your baby's nails trimmed to help prevent scratches.

  • Use blunt scissors or an emery board to cut or file your baby’s nails. Gently file sharp corners.
  • The best time to trim your baby’s nails is when your baby is asleep or sleepy and his or her hands are open and still. 

Resources & Links: 
HealthLink BC: Newborn Rashes and Skin Conditions
HealthLink BC: Caring for Baby's Nails

Last Updated: August 5, 2013