Skin Discoloration in Babies - Causes & Home Remedies

Does Skin Discolouration in Babies Signal a Serious Problem?

Medically Reviewed By
Dr. Arti Sharma (Paediatrician)
View more Paediatrician Our Panel of Experts

Any observation of a skin colour change in infants can cause parents to worry excessively about it. Newborn babies are highly susceptible to the smallest changes around them, and their bodies can exhibit numerous signs as a result of it. It is important to note what causes skin discolouration and if there is any medical intervention required to correct it.

What Causes Skin Discolouration in Infants?

To figure out whether your child has baby eczema skin discolouration or anything else of a similar kind, it is essential to know the various causes that can cause skin discolouration to occur. Some of these are condition-based while others might tend to be present right from the child’s birth.

1. Strawberry Nevus

As sweet as the name might sound, the actual condition can be quite shocking to most parents. In some babies, the blood vessels collect together tightly in a particular area and cause red coloured patches to emerge in that region. This is no different from a birthmark and is usually spotted in babies, right after birth. These are entirely harmless and might fade away, or grow darker with time.


A red or blue coloured discolouration in a small region of the butt, face, stomach, back, and so on. The marks could be on a separate layer of the skin as well.

Strawberry Nevus

2. Eczema

A prevalent skin condition observed in adults as well as babies, the discolouration of the skin is seen primarily as a result of eczema. Most of the times, eczema is triggered when the sensitive skin of a baby comes into contact with any substance that triggers an allergy. At times, it could a result of oral intake or even the presence of dehydrated skin that leads to the development of an eczema-like condition.


Itching in various areas of the body combined with red coloured bumps on the chest, arms, and other body regions.


3. Infant Rash

A specific type of rash that is observed in newborns is also a reason behind the discolouration on an infant’s skin. Generally termed as erythema toxicum or baby acne, this rash has been known to show up right after the birth and continues to stay put for about 12-15 weeks. Although the cause is unknown, it is believed to be a result of certain hormones transferred from the mother.


Tiny pimples with a yellow or white coloured centre that are hard and dry, occurring on the nose, chest, back, and other regions of the body.

Infant Rash

4. Hives

Many parents would be well-aware of hives, while some of them might have experienced it themselves. A red coloured rash that is slightly raised atop the skin and spreads rapidly around the body is termed as hives. This is nothing but the body’s immunity in reacting to the presence of an allergic substance. Anything from foods to creams and even smells can trigger these.


Welts or bright red spots on the skin, combined with vomiting, blocked nose and diarrhoea.


5. Ringworm Infection

The sensitive nature of a baby’s skin puts it at a higher risk of being infected by various microbes as well as fungi. Skin discolouration due to the ringworm fungi is pretty typical and usually occurs if a baby sweats a lot or wears wet diapers, which leave the skin warm and moist.


Most skin discolouration occurs in the form of itchy red patches, which can even cause pain. At times, a white coloured fluid might ooze from the skin and have a smell that resembles a yeast infection.

Ringworm Infection

6. Mottling

Mottling is a skin discolouration that can make your baby’s skin look extremely disturbing. The patterns that form on the surface of the skin are a result of reduced blood flow in the upper layers, which are a result of the baby being colder than usual. Observed in adults as well, this usually takes place if your child has a fever and the blood is keeping the internal organs safe, leading to a reduced supply to the skin.


The redness occurs in patchy circular patterns, which makes your baby resemble a marble statue at times. Veins might be visible as well, causing a few areas to look whiter than usual.


7. Acrocyanosis

While most skin conditions cause red colour patches or discolouration, acrocyanosis is one that leads to a bluish tinge to appear on the skin. Mostly seen in babies in the first couple of days after birth, the condition is normal and is a result of the circulatory system of the child coming to terms with the increased demand. As the vessels dilate, the discolouration starts fading away.


Areas surround the face, lips, feet and hands have a bluish shade.


Treatment for Discolouration of Baby Skin

Most of the typical discolouration of the skin fade away on their own accord with minimal to zero-intervention. A yellowish tinge might be indicative of jaundice and needs medical attention for sure. Extreme conditions of acrocyanosis or skin discolouration combined with physical disfigurement might require surgery or strong medication.

Home Remedies for Baby Skin discolouration

Whether there is discolouration on the baby’s face or any other area of the body, parents usually look for ways to remedy the situation and bring it back to normal. There are a bunch of techniques that can help bring relief from the discolouration if it is irritating the baby, as well as help the discolouration fade away as well.

1. Adjusting the Diet

At times, the discolouration that occurs on the skin might be a result of the body reacting to a particular food item. This can be conclusively determined by trying out specific food items and observing its reaction. At times, this could be a sign of a lifelong allergy or even a temporary one.

2. Keeping the Baby Warm

Some children tend to experience a severe mottling of skin after having a bath or being in the tub for long durations of time. In specific scenarios, the presence of cold water or a cold atmosphere can cause the skin to react in such a manner as well. Make sure your baby is warm and comfortable as often as possible, and bundle him up in a blanket if needed.

3. Staying Indoors

Your baby may have tinea versicolour, which is a harmless fungal infection leading to skin discolouration. Hot, humid climate is known to accelerate its growth. Hence, make sure your baby is wearing loose-fitting clothes and is indoors during this time.

4. Opting for Organic and Healthy Products

The constitution of a baby care product itself might be the reason behind the little one’s skin reacting adversely. The usage of certain chemicals or even fragrances to make the cream or shampoo better suited for kids could trigger a reaction in the child’s sensitive skin. Opt for a different brand or an organic equivalent or even homemade creams for a while.

5. Constant Warmth to Tackle Acrocyanosis

The presence of a purplish tinge on the hands or feet of the baby might be indicative of acrocyanosis. A blood vessel constriction usually causes this to happen, and if the child’s body is cold or exposed to cool atmospheres, the condition may worsen. Therefore, using gloves and socks can be beneficial and can let the body balance itself out properly.

6. Honey

One well-known home remedy for skin discolouration is honey which can be used as a bleaching agent. Apply some honey in the affected area for about 15 minutes daily, and you are sure to see a reduction in the discolouration.

Handling infant skin discolouration is not a difficult task since most of them are signs of the body coming to terms with the new environment. Your doctor’s advice is instrumental in understanding the measures to correct the discolouration, and natural remedies are always recommended before opting for medication.

Also Read: How to Care for Baby Skin

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