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Staph Rash on Newborns

By Darla Ferrara ; Updated August 14, 2017

It can be disconcerting to see what may look like an infection on your baby's skin. Newborns are prone to a variety of rashes, but staph itself does not cause the rash. Staph is common bacteria that cover the surface of the body. The key is to protect the delicate skin of an infant from infection while it goes through normal changes. If you are concerned about a rash, if your baby develops pus-filled lesions or begins to run a fever, call your pediatrician.


Staph infections are becoming more of a problem due to antibiotic resistance, according to Staph is a bacteria that most people carry on their bodies. Skin offers a layer of protection from systemic infection, but when the skin develops an opening, the bacteria can get into the bloodstream. Newborns tend to get rashes that have nothing to do with staph. For example, drooling can irritate the skin and cause a rash. Proper care of your newborn's skin and treatment of rashes can eliminate most of the dangers of infection.

Common Rashes

Acne is a minor problem for newborn babies and just one of a number of rashes that may arise. Approximately 30 percent of all newborns have acne, notes Seattle Children's Hospital. A newborn's face may develop tiny bumps similar in appearance to pimples known as milia. This is not a sign of infection, but a build-up of keratin under the skin. Many common rashes are due to skin changing and maturing, but a rash is an opportunity for the baby to develop a staph infection. It is essential that you watch rashes for signs of a problem.

Symptoms of Staph

Staph provides some obvious clues that will help you identify an infection. Fever is a sign of a problem. A newborn who develops a fever should be examined by a healthcare provider. Red, inflamed skin is a symptom of infection. Look for red streaks that radiate away from the rash site, too. Drainage is abnormal for newborn rashes and an indicator of infection. If your infant pulls away when you touch near the rash, this may point to a sore area that may be infected.

Expert Insight

Ultimately, parents should follow their instincts when it comes to the health of a newborn baby. No one knows your child like you do. Staph infections can come with dire consequences. Once staph enters the bloodstream in can damage organs and even be fatal. If you are not sure, see your pediatrician. This will help keep your baby safe and ease your mind, as well. Talk to your doctor about ways to treat minor skin irritation and help prevent staph infection.

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