Skin-nontumor / Clinical dermatology
Blistering disorders
Erythema toxicum neonatorum

Author: Mowafak Hamodat, M.D., MB.CH.B, MSc., FRCPC (see Authors page)

Revised: 14 June 2016, last major update July 2011

Copyright: (c) 2002-2016,, Inc.

PubMed Search: Erythema toxicum neonatorum

Cite this page: Erythema toxicum neonatorum. website. Accessed October 25th, 2016.
Definition / General
  • Skin condition in 50% of newborns, with red patches on forehead, face, chest, trunk and extremities that have raised clear bumps in the center; usually resolves within a few days without treatment
Clinical Features
  • Pathogenesis unknown; may be an acute graft versus host reaction, resulting from the transfer of maternal lymphocytes during delivery
  • Erythematous pustular eruption
  • Can be diagnosed clinically based on classic appearance (Am Fam Physician 2008;77:47)
Clinical Images

Images hosted on other servers:

Red patches with raised clear central bumps

Micro Description
  • Early erythematous lesion: shows perivascular inflammatory cell infiltrate with conspicuous eosinophils
  • Intraepidermal pustule (subcorneal): filled with eosinophils and occasional neutrophils
Differential Diagnosis
  • Incontinentia pigment: prominent eosinophilic spongiosis, not seen in erythema toxicum neonatorum
  • Miliaria rubra (heat rash): vesicles are related to sweat ducts, not hair follicles, and typically contain mononuclear cells, not eosinophils