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2017 Month : December Volume : 6 Issue : 93 Page : 6695-6702


Parag Sharma1, Abhiram Behera2

Corresponding Author:
Dr. Parag Sharma,
Flat No. 305, Dharti Complex,
Plot 60/61, Sector-18,
Kamothe, Navi Mumbai-410209.



The early neonatal period is considered to be the first 7 days of life after birth. The skin undergoes a variety of changes during this period, which reflects the neonates’ functional adaptability to its new environment. These changes resolve spontaneously within a few weeks and are regarded as physiological. Skin changes other than physiological are called pathological. These pathological changes are either transmitted from the parents or acquired from the external environment.

The objective of this study is to determine the relative incidence of physiological and pathological skin changes, their relation to maternal and neonatal factors and the time of their appearance and disappearance in this part of the world.


1000 live-born babies delivered in labour room over a period of 1 year and who could remain in the hospital for at least 7 days were selected for the present study. Babies were followed up daily till the next 7 days.


1000 neonates developed 6905 skin changes during their early neonatal period at an average of 6.9 lesions per neonate. Only 2 of them required immediate intervention. There were 5820 (84.3%) physiological skin changes and 1085 (15.7%) pathological skin changes. Pathological skin changes include 366 (5.3%) infectious, 514 (7.4%) non-infectious and 205 (3%) developmental defects. Amongst physiological skin changes, physiological desquamation of skin was the most common and physiological jaundice was the least common. Amongst infectious skin disorders, ophthalmia neonatorum (23.3%) was the most common and breast abscess (0.1%) was the least common. Amongst non-infectious skin disorders, miliaria crystallina (35.3%) was the most common and sclerema neonatorum (0.1%) was the least common. Amongst developmental defects, Salmon patch (19%) was the most common and Spina bifida (0.1%) was the least common. Out of 5820 physiological skin changes, maximum (3716) appeared on the first day and minimum (109) appeared on the seventh day of life. Out of 890 infectious and non-infectious skin changes, the lesions appeared with an equal frequency throughout the 7 days.


Physiological skin changes were found more commonly than pathological skin changes, and the ratio between physiological to pathological skin changes was 5.8: 1.1. Physiological skin changes varied significantly with neonatal and maternal factors, while most of the pathological skin changes did not vary with the above factors. The parents can be assured that their babies will develop some skin lesions during their early neonatal period. Most of them will disappear spontaneously or with minimal treatment. Rarely, immediate intervention is required.


Physiological and Pathological Skin Changes, Neonatal and Maternal Factors, Day of Appearance.

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