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Get this article to help identify neonatal cutaneous findings

Clinical Question:
What are common cutaneous findings in newborns?

Bottom Line:
After you clean up all the vernix and other schmutz, you'll see that newborns are covered with all kinds of skin pathology -- mostly nevi and sebaceous gland hyperplasia. Get a copy of this paper for useful pictures and tables to help describe and identify the most common findings. (LOE = 1b-)

Kanada KN, Merin MR, Munden A, Friedlander SF. A prospective study of cutaneous findings in newborns in the United States: correlation with race, ethnicity, and gestational status using updated classification and nomenclature. J Pediatr 2012;161(2):240-245.  [PMID:22497908]

Study Design:
Cohort (prospective)


Inpatient (any location)

Pediatric dermatologists examined nearly 600 newborn infants and documented any skin findings. Additionally, researchers contacted the mothers 1, 3, 6, and 9 months later to determine the status of the skin findings. They classified each skin lesion according to a common classification scheme: nevus simplex, capillary malformation, infantile hemangioma, congenital hemangioma, dermal melanocytosis, congenital melanocytic nevi, cafe au lait macules, erythema toxicum neonatorum, or sebaceous gland hyperplasia. They don't describe measures to confirm or verify the findings, other than to say that no biopsies were performed. The authors report that more than 80% of the neonates had nevi and more than 40% had sebaceous gland hyperplasia. If you examine newborns, get a copy of the paper. It contains a useful table that describes each of the skin findings and has a nice sampling of photographs.


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