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Erythema toxicum
Classification and external resources
ICD-10 L53.0, P83.1
ICD-9 695.0, 778.8
DiseasesDB 4458
MedlinePlus 001458
eMedicine derm/139 ped/697

Erythema toxicum (or toxic erythema) is a common rash in neonates.[1]:139[2] It appears in up to half of newborns carried to term, usually between day 2-5 after birth. Erythema toxicum is characterized by blotchy red spots on the skin with overlying white or yellow papules or pustules. These lesions may be few or numerous. The eruption typically resolves within a few days. The cause of erythema toxicum is unknown. Hypersensitivity to detergents in bedsheets and clothing is sometimes suspected, but the connection remains unproven. Because the eruption is transient and self-limiting, no treatment is indicated



The rash is composed of small papular lesions, each on a separate reddened base.


At times the appearance can raise concern that the rash could be due to herpes simplex; however, the latter generally has a more clustered and vesicular appearance.

In uncertain cases, a scraping of a lesion can be done and the fluid examined under the microscope. Herpes lesions will have a positive direct fluorescent antibody test. The fluid from erythema toxicum lesions will show many eosinophils.


The cause of erythema toxicum is unknown, but it is thought to be a benign condition that causes no discomfort to the infant. The rash will generally disappear spontaneously in about 2 weeks.


  1. ^ James, William; Berger, Timothy; Elston, Dirk (2005). Andrews' Diseases of the Skin: Clinical Dermatology. (10th ed.). Saunders. ISBN 0721629210.
  2. ^ Berg FJ, Solomon LM (April 1987). "Erythema neonatorum toxicum". Arch. Dis. Child. 62 (4): 327–8. doi:10.1136/adc.62.4.327. PMID 3592724. 

External links

{{Navbox | name = Certain conditions originating in the perinatal period | title = Certain conditions originating in the perinatal period / fetal disease (P, 760-779) | titlestyle = background:Silver | groupstyle = background:#BBEEBB; | belowstyle = background:#BBEEBB;

| group1 = Maternal factors and
complications of pregnancy,
labour and delivery | list1 = placenta: Placenta praevia · Placental insufficiency · Twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome

umbilical cord: Umbilical cord prolapse · Nuchal cord · Single umbilical artery

| group3 = Length of gestation
and fetal growth | list3 = Small for gestational age/Large for gestational age · Preterm birth/Postmature birth · Fetal growth retardation

| group4 = [[Childbirth#Complications of birth|Birth trauma(Erb's palsy, Klumpke paralysis)

| group5 = By system

| list5 =

| group9 = Other disorders | list9 = Perinatal infection (Congenital rubella syndrome, Neonatal herpes simplex) · Omphalitis · Neonatal sepsis (Group B streptococcal infection)

Stillbirth/Perinatal mortality

| below = obstetric navs: pregnancy, conditions of mother/fetus/maternal transmission, eponymous signs, proc




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