Are Some Babies More Prone to Toxic Erythema²?
While the exact cause of toxic erythema is still unknown, health experts speculate that it has something to do with newborns’ hair follicles.
Newborn babies typically have more hair follicles than adults, and inflammatory cells tend to collect in those follicles. During examinations, doctors often find bacteria in the follicular epithelium and inflammatory cells. For this reason, some experts speculate that erythema toxicum occurs due to the bacteria or microbes penetrating the follicles.
This might also explain why the lesions do not affect the palms and soles of feet (since they do not have hair follicles).
Babies born vaginally, especially in hot, wet climates appear to be more prone to developing rashes. Reports also indicate a positive connection between the length of labor to the occurrence and duration of erythema toxicum.
What Other Conditions Have the Same Symptoms?
Erythema toxicum may be benign, self-limiting, and asymptomatic; however, other conditions cause the same symptoms. Some of these require treatment.
These conditions include:
- Infections, such as folliculitis, congenital cutaneous candidiasis, and impetigo. Remember that any kind of infection requires prompt treatment.
- Heat rash
- Transient neonatal pustular dermatosis, another benign condition that needs no treatment
- Acne neonatorum or neonatal acne