Baby Skin Conditions: Common Skin Issues, Birthmarks and Moles

Babies are known for their soft skin. So, when it pusses, pops, scabs, or peels we have a tendency to freak out. Today, we're continuing our series focused on baby skin conditions. What common skin issues can new parents expect? How are these problems commonly treated? Plus, the truth about birthmarks and moles.

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  • Baby Skin Conditions

    Your new baby has been swimming in water for roughly the last nine months. So, it’s naturally going to experience some dramatic changes after birth. As a parent, what should you expect when it comes to caring for your baby’s skin?

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Episode Transcript

Parent Savers
Baby Skin Conditions: Common Skin Issues, Birthmarks and Moles

Please be advised, this transcription was performed from a company independent of New Mommy Media, LLC. As such, translation was required which may alter the accuracy of the transcription.

[Theme Music]

DR.CAROLINE PIGGOTT: New parents are often thrilled and most likely a bit nervous when bringing home their new baby. They take in every inch of their precious little bodies. They count fingers, toes, eyes and nose and they think their skin is beautiful and perfect until it’s not. When our baby’s skin pusses, pop scabs or peels suddenly we need help. I’m Dr. Caroline Piggott and today on Parent Savers we’re talking about baby skin conditions and common diseases.

[Theme Music/Intro]

ERIN ESTEVES: Welcome to Parents Savers broadcasting from the birth education center of San Diego. Parent Savers is your weekly online on the go support group for parents from conception to kindergarten. I’m your host Erin Esteves aka OG Mamasita. Thanks to all of our loyal listeners who join us week in and week out and thanks also to those who are listening for the first time.

As you may or may not know you can join our Parents Savers club and receive access to special bonus content after each new show plus special giveaways and discounts from time to time. And if you haven’t already please make sure to download the free Parent Savers app available in the Android and iTunes market place and for Windows phone. So you can automatically have access to all of the great parenting advice and conversation we have on Parent Savers every week. Let’s start the conversation by meeting everyone who’s joining us today.

DR.CAROLINE PIGGOTT: Hi my name is Caroline Piggott and I am a doctor at Scripps clinic.

ERIN ESTEVES: Caroline do you love kids obviously?

DR.CAROLINE PIGGOTT: I do. I see them. I see adults as well in clinic but most of my practice is paediatric so I love it and the children and their parents end up sort of being like my family too.

ERIN ESTEVES: Oh great! And over here we have…

COLINA CAROTHERS: Oh hello! I’m Colina. I’m the producer here for Parent Savers. I am 26 years old. I have a 14 month old son and I’m very excited about this topic particularly because with having my first child there were some things that came up and I was freaking out. Because no one tells you get this all of this other advice no one tells you look for these symptoms and it’s okay.



ERIN ESTEVES: It’s not bubonic plague.

COLINA CAROTHERS: Yeah exactly. So, this is a great topic.

SUNNY GAULT: Hey everyone I’m Sunny and I’m the owner of New Mommy Media which produces this show and Preggie Pals and Boob Group and Twin Talks and I’m also a mommy of course. I have four children all under the age of four. I have to get that out there because it’s going to change here in a week. My oldest is about to turn four so that I can’t say four under four. So anyways four children, my oldest is turning four my middle guy is two years old and then I’ve got identical twin girls who are 8 months old. And as far as skin stuff is concerned you know the thing they don’t tell you is you know we saw in the intro that you know baby’s skin comes out it’s all beautiful maybe I just had some crazy kids but my babies like skin was like scaly and bumply…


SUNNY GAULT: And they don’t tell you that either. I kept hearing all this stuff about you know baby’s skin so fresh and soft and when they hit about 6 months yes that was the sweet spot for my kids. But then as they get into their toddler years then it’s like stuff comes back and so I’m always noticing weird stuff on my kid’s body I’m like what is that. But since I have like you know four children I’m like what is that and then oh now here let me check something on Facebook. So I don’t freak out nearly as much anymore.

ERIN ESTEVES: Okay and I am Erin Esteves as I said OG Mamasita which stands for Officially Geriatric because I’m a mother of advance age. I have one boy his name is cash and he is about two and a half and yeah his skin was pretty damn good when he first came out…

SUNNY GAULT: Really? So it’s just my family is weird is that what you’re telling me?

ERIN ESTEVES: I think maybe it was just a fluke. I don’t know. So but it did have its funky stage so you’re not alone.

SUNNY GAULT: Yes. Thank God.

ERIN ESTEVES: I’m glad this is an excellent topic.

[Theme Music]

ERIN ESTEVES: So on Parent Savers we like to talk about new and exciting things and that sometimes entails headlines and Colina has a very interesting headline to share with us.

COLINA CAROTHERS: I do. So I was looking over some stuff and I found this and I’m I have to apologize to the people who invented this robot because I don’t know how to pronounce it. It’s JIBO so it’s either jibo, gibo…


COLINA CAROTHERS: Hibo if it’s particularly exotic. So this robot the headline is that “JIBO the family robot might be oddly charming or just plain odd”. So it’s kind of up for debate and it’s this robot to explain what it look like it reminds me of like a small table top rotating fan almost.


COLINA CAROTHERS: But it’s got a flat face which is like a glowing orb.




ERIN ESTEVES: Oh yeah it looks like . . .

SUNNY GAULT: Oh my gosh. You know what it looks like what was that one Disney…

ERIN ESTEVES: They’ve mentioned that too…



SUNNY GAULT: Wall-e and Eve . . . whatever her name is.

COLINA CAROTHERS: It does kind of look like her.


SUNNY GAULT: Looks like Eve or whatever sitting on your counter up.



SUNNY GAULT: So I was totally picturing Jetsons when you first said that…

ERIN ESTEVES: Yeah so did I.

SUNNY GAULT: So this is not Jetsons. No.

COLINA CAROTHERS: No this is it’s a little bit different. So the purpose of this robot is basically they’ve made it on a really open platform kind of an app related device that it can do simple things for you turn on and off lights, adjust temperature in your house kind of basic controls but what makes it family friendly is they have designed it so that you can talk to it like another person.

ERIN ESTEVES: So it’s like SIRI.



COLINA CAROTHERS: A little bit like SIRI but for your house.


COLINA CAROTHERS: So you can go up to it and it’s the idea is to be able to hold conversation, kind of pick up on lingo, you can tell it to do things and it’s so anybody in the house can be like hey JIBO switch on the lights and your lights will turn on or you know ask a question things like that. So it’s meant to be like part of the family unit.

ERIN ESTEVES: So it’s artificial intelligence.


ERIN ESTEVES: It’s learning capable.



SUNNY GAULT: Yeah. Yeah.

COLINA CAROTHERS: So it’s definitely, it’s still really new. They want to see how it’s going to grapple you know the whole complexity of communication…


COLINA CAROTHERS: And slang and things like that.

SUNNY GAULT: So it can learn though?

COLINA CAROTHERS: It’s supposed to.

SUNNY GAULT: That’s what’s scary.

ERIN ESTEVES: That’s yeah it’s so…

COLINA CAROTHERS: So it’s supposed to pick up on these kinds of things. Not really…


COLINA CAROTHERS: It doesn’t look like it does. It might rotate a little bit. I didn’t see really anything about that but it’s really kind of because they made it so open. They’re hoping that other people will make like apps to get it to do more. So it’s really up to the other technology….

SUNNY GAULT: Oh interesting.

COLINA CAROTHERS: Experts out there to kind of adapt it.

ERIN ESTEVES: Well I think it would be really be cool if it can tell me like my recipes as I’m going along.


ERIN ESTEVES: You know something like that.


ERIN ESTEVES: You know that would be really neat.

COLINA CAROTHERS: So anybody out there who’s listening.

SUNNY GAULT: Yeah create an app…

ERIN ESTEVES: Make that app.

SUNNY GAULT: For JIBO but the thing that’s throwing me off is that it’s stationary you know because I’m not that I wanted it to move that might freak me out a little bit more but what I mean what I like about SIRI is my phone is everywhere I am right so she’s everywhere I am and so I feel like what if you’re upstairs and oh JIBO turn off the light oh wait JIBO is in the kitchen.


ERIN ESTEVES: So I’m wondering if you have like speakers set throughout the house. There has to be some way to…

SUNNY GAULT: Or multiple JIBOs.


COLINA CAROTHERS: Yeah in different rooms.

SUNNY GAULT: Oh my gosh multiple JIBOs. It’s like a marketing scam.


ERIN ESTEVES: Oh my gosh okay I just have like a doctor who moment where the cyber wars take over.

COLINA CAROTHERS: Yeah so it’s still really new. They are still kind of you know adapting it. It’s just kind of the first and they talk about you know being adapted eventually people might take this and keep running with it to where we do see you know things that…


ERIN ESTEVES: Cruise around the house.

COLINA CAROTHERS: Or it comes in your car.


ERIN ESTEVES: I see that that’s great for like my dad who is blind you know because the poor man always loses the remote. He always misplaces the phone you know…


ERIN ESTEVES: I mean he doesn’t need lights. We always tease for his electric bills being so low. You know he’s always like turn the lights off and I’m like how would you know? So I think that’s really neat. I’m excited and terrified at the same time.

[Theme Music]

ERIN ESTEVES: Today we’re talking about baby skin conditions, common diseases and we have with us Dr. Caroline Piggott. She’s a paediatric dermatologist at Scripps Clinic here in San Diego and she’s going to help us understand all of the basic issues of common baby skin diseases. So thank you for joining us today.

DR.CAROLINE PIGGOTT: Thank you so much for having me. It’s fun to be back.

ERIN ESTEVES: So you don’t have children of your own but you do in a sense because you have…

DR.CAROLINE PIGGOTT: All the kids in my practice they’re kind of like my kids other than my furry baby, my little dog. Yeah no I see adults as well but a lot of them are actually the parents of the kids who I initially meet as my patients. So I almost like to think of myself as a family dermatologist kind of. But I see tons of kids and there are such a wide spectrum of things that different skin diseases that children can have and most of them are totally benign, not dangerous, not harmful but a lot of them look scary and so a lot of people do Google searches and…


DR.CAROLINE PIGGOTT: All sorts of frightening things come up on the internet and so a lot of my time was spent reassuring parents because most of the time everything is totally fine but for the rare cases when it’s not I like to see everyone.

ERIN ESTEVES: Talking them off of the ledge.



ERIN ESTEVES: Yeah. I know that in a lot of the social media groups that I’m part of that I participate in, moms are constantly posting pictures. What is this? You know which cin some ways I feel is a disservice to themselves and their children and in other parents out there because like you said that stuff can look really scary.

DR.CAROLINE PIGGOTT: And there’s a lot of misinformation too.


DR.CAROLINE PIGGOTT: And even in a photograph it’s hard to tell really what it is so it’s really nice when I get to see things live to really see what’s going on. To make sure it’s something benign or safe and not something to worry about which most of the time again everything is usually okay.

ERIN ESTEVES: Yeah and my go to comment in on those is always can you email your doctor? Send them the picture.

DR.CAROLINE PIGGOTT: Right. And it’s really important to take a picture too though because half the time by the time the child comes into clinic usually the rash or whatever it is is often times gone but it’s nice to have the photograph to so I can help the families know what to do or what it is just in case it ever comes back again.

ERIN ESTEVES: So what else should a parent do other than just take like that first I don’t know but in the in term between realizing that there’s something and actually getting to see. So we take a picture and I know that for some things like for a snake bite…


ERIN ESTEVES: Or an animal bite where you kind of mark…

DR.CAROLINE PIGGOTT: Oh yeah you take a pen and mark the perimeter and then you can track it like if it’s getting worse or spreading beyond the borders of your pen mark. That can actually be helpful. And another thing too is just not just the skin but is there anything else going on with the child or are they having a fever or they’re not eating or sleeping normally in association with whatever the rash is or whatever the skin condition is. That can also be very important because a lot of the times the skin can be a manifestation of what’s going on inside of you.

ERIN ESTEVES: Interesting and I’m sure that there are a lot of seasonal issues…


ERIN ESTEVES: What do you see?

DR.CAROLINE PIGGOTT: Let’s see well right now at summer time and a lot of the things I see or things that little children or older children, any a patient of any age are being exposed to things in the environment because they are wearing shorts and t-shirts so just last week I can’t count the number of patients who came in with bug bites for example. A lot of people are playing and you know going on vacation or traveling, staying on hotels or you know . . .


DR.CAROLINE PIGGOTT: In the woods and a lot of people are coming in with bug bites or you know like you said snake bites are not so common . . .


DR.CAROLINE PIGGOTT: But a lot of bug bites. Itchy rashes things like that or children who are allergic to say for grass for example or going out to play . . .


DR.CAROLINE PIGGOTT: Coming in with marks on their legs or their hands and things like that and again most of the time things are not harmful but can be pretty itchy.

ERIN ESTEVES: And is would you say that there is a constant throughout the year that doesn’t isn’t affected by a season?

DR.CAROLINE PIGGOTT: For babies sort of some of the common things that a lot of babies have that we’re going to talk about today for example like baby acne or eczema, dry skin, heat rashes, things like that. I see a lot of those all year.

ERIN ESTEVES: So let’s go ahead and jump into one of the first ones that I think and I know that we have a comment from Facebook regarding this one and that’s baby acne.

DR.CAROLINE PIGGOTT: Oh yes and one of the misconceptions on acne is that it’s a disease of teenagers only and really it’s a it can be I’d seen acne in patients who are newborns and I’d seen acne in people who are 60 years old. It really isn’t just a teenage problem. So a lot of parents are really worried when their beautiful little baby starts developing acne and it can occur even in the first month of life even.

We call that neonatal acne if it’s the first month. After a month we switch the name to infantile acne but it doesn’t really matter it can be very concerning to parents. For baby acne usually what you notice and it’s common on the cheeks just like it is for teenagers, what you notice are tiny little red bumps and sometimes they even have a little bit of they have pustules or little bumps with puss in them. And . . .

ERIN ESTEVES: The white heads.

DR.CAROLINE PIGGOTT: Yeah exactly and usually it doesn’t leave scars which is like a thing and especially the type of the one that we call neonatal acne which is the one on the first month. Usually it goes away on its own. It’s not harmful to the baby. It’s not painful although it can look scary. It’s kind of controversial whether that type is true acne or something called neonatal pustules which is another benign condition but again most parents think it looks bad that you can reassure them in most cases it goes away on its own and I usually don’t treat it unless it’s pretty severe.

There are some prescription medicines usually creams or some creams called ketoconazole that we sometimes use but in most cases it’s not necessary they just go away on their own. The type that last beyond the first month, the infantile acne, that’s the one that’s more commonly has sort of the white heads or black heads kind of like more like what you see in teenagers . . .


DR.CAROLINE PIGGOTT: And actually that type the type that can it starts usually about one month of aging can last even up to one year believe it or not…


DR.CAROLINE PIGGOTT: And that can actually cause scars.


DR.CAROLINE PIGGOTT: So yeah and there’s most cases are really mild. I don’t want you to worry that your child is necessarily going to get a scar but there are some cases where they can leave scars. You can get that cystic type even…


DR.CAROLINE PIGGOTT: And some of them we actually treat prescription medicine and the lot of the medicines are actually very similar to what we treat teenagers with. There are certain ones that you can’t use in babies. Certainly some of the oral medicines that we use on teenagers you can’t use on babies like for example medicine that “Tetracycline and family” we can’t use on little ones because it can cause various abnormalities including teeth problems usually at an older age but the good news is most of it goes away.

The type of acne that I just want to mention that can be worrisome is when your child is more age 2, 3 to 4 years old. Very rarely and I don’t I’m not saying this just to scare anyone but very rarely if you develop acne in your for example 2 years old it can be associated with underlying hormonal . . .


DR.CAROLINE PIGGOTT: Or endocrine abnormality.


DR.CAROLINE PIGGOTT: So if your child is you know age one I would say or above and I would say age one to for example age 7 somewhere in that range I would probably take your child to the doctor just to make sure it really is acne first of all and just to make sure that nothing else needs to be tested or looked at.

ERIN ESTEVES: Oh that’s really good to know. So Stacey was asking what should what should we do if as a parent to I know that I had friends who are like pop it and I was like I’m not going to pop it.

DR.CAROLINE PIGGOTT: Popping, what I worry about with popping is that actually is more likely to leave a scar behind than if you leave it alone. So definitely gentle face washing is important and you want to use washes that don’t have fragrance or a lot of chemicals in them. And you don’t want to scrub really hard. A lot of families where you know worry that it’s a sign of being dirty . . .


DR.CAROLINE PIGGOTT: Or lack of cleanliness or whatever and it really isn’t it. It’s just something that either happens or it doesn’t and scrubbing harder does not help and in fact it’s if you pop it or squeeze it you’re more likely to get have you ever seen those people later in life who have those little pop marks?


DR.CAROLINE PIGGOTT: From that acne you can actually get those left behind if you squeeze too hard and that’s including teenagers too…


DR.CAROLINE PIGGOTT: So I always encourage people not to pop. It’s hard not to.

ERIN ESTEVES: I can’t imagine I can’t imagine popping a zit on a baby. Can you I mean it just to me it seems . . .

DR.CAROLINE PIGGOTT: It would be painful I do think.


SUNNY GAULT: I would be scared.



ERIN ESTEVES: I wouldn’t want to do that . . .


ERIN ESTEVES: So let’s say that the opposite as you know there’s baby acne the opposite I think would be dry skin.

DR.CAROLINE PIGGOTT: Ah totally everyone experience this with their children at some point the winter months especially not so much here in San Diego but the winter months elsewhere can really dry out the skin and usually it’s just a normal finding, nothing to be worried about. It can be frustrating though because the dry skin can get pretty itchy in some babies because the kid when you’re little you can’t reach over and scratch yourself…


DR.CAROLINE PIGGOTT: Like you can when you’re older so a lot of them actually get a little bit fussy when their itchy and so they might cry or wiggle around a little bit more instead of being able to scratch themselves so one of the really important things as with baby acne is that you use very gentle cleansers on babies. Nothing with extra chemicals, dyes, fragrances things like that. You don’t have to spend a lot of money. There’s a lot of inexpensive products out there that are very helpful.

The other thing is with moisturizer that’s very important and a good time to put on moisturizer is actually after a bath. It sort of counter intuitive but sometimes when you’re in in a bath too long let’s say the water is really hot or you’re in there too long that can actually make the skin even more dry believe it or not. So when you get your baby out of the bath you want to pat the skin gently again not really hard scrubbing that just pat it gently dry and then that’s a great time to put on a moisturizer. And usually in children thicker ones are better than the sort of lighter lotions so ointments usually are more effective at creating a barrier . . .


DR.CAROLINE PIGGOTT: And even simple you know you don’t have to get anything expensive even things like white petrol item can help and you know once a day or twice a day something like that should do the trick but usually it’s not a manifestation of anything abnormal in the baby. One of the areas that a lot of people have especially difficult time with is the diaper area especially because there’re you know with a moist diaper leads can with the diaper rubbing can lead to irritation and redness in the diaper area.

So a really thick diaper cream is also very helpful. And a lot of families use those baby wipes which you have to I mean if you’re on the go you need something portable. But the problem with baby wipes is sometimes they can be really irritating so you want to be super gentle when you’re cleaning the area.

Some kids are even allergic to them believe it or not. Usually not but some kids are and then make sure you reapply a good thick diaper paste things like zinc oxide take ones are very good I find but the diaper areas even more important because you can actually get infections on the area if it’s too moist and irritated. You can get things like yeast infections or other things or even conditions like eczema kind of rise in the diaper area.

ERIN ESTEVES: When we come back we’re going to go ahead and take a quick break and we’ll continue this discussion with the topic of eczema.

[Theme Music]

ERIN ESTEVES: Welcome back today we’re talking about baby skin conditions, common diseases with Dr. Caroline Piggott and we are picking up the conversation no pun intended with the picking.


ERIN ESTEVES: We’re picking up with eczema.

DR.CAROLINE PIGGOTT: Yeah eczema. Eczema is one of the most frustrating skin conditions a parent can deal with and most babies don’t have eczema, most just have dry skin but if you’re one of the families who has sort of the genetic inclination towards what we call atopic dermatitis or eczema even young babies can develop it. People of all ages can have it but one of the usually more severe times if your child does have eczema is the first you know five years of life.

I’ve seen eczema develop even in the first month of life. What it presents as not just dry skin but sometimes you almost see raised pink bumps or in sometimes you have so many of them that they [inaudible] in to what we call a plaque or a thicker red scaly area yeah and it can be anywhere in the body but common areas for children especially babies is on the cheeks and then sometimes you can see them on the arms, legs or really anywhere on the skin and it can be quite itchy for the children and some kids have it so much that they’re so itchy they have trouble sleeping properly because of it.

So yeah and so what’s really important is to treat it if your child does have it. And most children with eczema are pretty mild and you can get away with bland moisturizers, everything fragrance free but some other tips if you have a child with eczema is to make sure no one comes in the house I mean no one in I don’t like cigarette smoking in general but especially for children with eczema…


DR.CAROLINE PIGGOTT: I find that if there’s a lot of smokers in the home it can affect their skin as well so I definitely discourage that. I told families with eczema to make sure you know when grandma comes to visit she’s not wearing a lot of perfume because it can actually irritate the child’s skin and to not wear perfume yourself. Just like with dry skin, moisturizers are very important you know gentle cleansers.

A lot of kids with eczema are particularly sensitive to the type of moisturizer that you pick so that’s very important to check on the label, make sure there’s no fragrance, not a lot of extra chemicals and things like that. If you’re not sure whether your child has eczema, you can always take them most paediatricians are excellent at treating eczema and I do get a lot of referrals for more difficult cases but one of the things we commonly used for eczema are topical steroids.

And a lot of when you hear that word steroid a lot of parents are very scared. And rightly so when overuse topical steroids can cause harm so I generally recommend you do that under the guidance of a doctor if you’re going to go to those types of things but we do have treatment and one of the main stays is topical steroids.

ERIN ESTEVES: So I have a question about eczema, is it something is it are you genetically set for it or is it a dietary and environmental I mean I can understand that the environment could exacerbate it.

DR.CAROLINE PIGGOTT: Exactly. Most they think there’s something called atopic triad which includes eczema, asthma and hay fever. So if you have a child with eczema most of the time you’ll find someone else in the family who has one of those other things you know sometimes grandma will have asthma . . .


DR.CAROLINE PIGGOTT: Mom will have eczema, baby gets eczema. But sometimes you get all three and they are thought to be genetically linked.

ERIN ESTEVES: That is fascinating.


COLINA CAROTHERS: That’s crazy. We have asthma like crazy in our family and I wouldn’t even think to put those two together. So that’s . . .

ERIN ESTEVES: Yeah well I have hay fever and my sister has asthma.

DR.CAROLINE PIGGOTT: There you go and probably maybe someone in the line…

ERIN ESTEVES: In the family yeah.

DR.CAROLINE PIGGOTT: Has eczema and most of the times you know unfortunately some people get all three. There’s a lot of controversy regarding the relationship between eczema and food allergies. Every time I see a patient with eczema, one of the first questions the parent will ask me is this caused by food?


DR.CAROLINE PIGGOTT: Most of the time the answer is no. Not all the time but most of the time. A child with eczema is probably more likely to have food allergies than a child who doesn’t have eczema but usually it is not a particular food that causes the skin. Again there are exceptions. I do have patients who have food allergies that cause eczema but most of the time it’s not the case.

ERIN ESTEVES: So then eczema can just in a sense kind of like be an external indicator of some internal sensibilities.

DR.CAROLINE PIGGOTT: Yeah sort of you know more of an allergic tendency I would say.


DR.CAROLINE PIGGOTT: And certainly things in the environment too can trigger eczema. Whether, there’s some thought that stress can play a role.

ERIN ESTEVES: I just started itching.

SUNNY GAULT: [inaudible] effect.



ERIN ESTEVES: I know this is weird but I just find that absolutely fascinating.

DR.CAROLINE PIGGOTT: No and I have some families where I have an Indian family the other day who said they’re daughter never had eczema until they move to San Diego.

SUNNY GAULT: Oh my gosh.

DR.CAROLINE PIGGOTT: And then they recently went on vacation back to India and they said their daughter has been cleared and then she comes back, back to square one.

SUNNY GAULT: Can our skin become immune, not immune but like take on like I mean just what’s the word when you adapt basically…


SUNNY GAULT: So I mean that would be a case of you know…

DR.CAROLINE PIGGOTT: Yeah absolutely.

SUNNY GAULT: She was in India her skin adapted to that environment…


SUNNY GAULT: She came to San Diego her skin was like what up with this.



SUNNY GAULT: You know what I mean?

DR.CAROLINE PIGGOTT: Totally and I do think there’s probably a role with the humidity in India . . .


SUNNY GAULT: Yeah okay.

DR.CAROLINE PIGGOTT: Where it’s so dry.


SUNNY GAULT: Oh yeah for sure.

ERIN ESTEVES: Yeah. Another thing that comes with birth and I don’t I guess these are I did a little bit of reading on these so you’re obviously the expert but birth marks they don’t necessarily have to be at birth.

DR.CAROLINE PIGGOTT: Exactly. So there are many different birth marks and most of them are nothing to worry about at all. There are things like moles that can be there at birth and we call them birth marks if the mole usually appears within the first year of life for example we call it a congenital nevus and most of what they can be . . .

And a lot of them can actually be quite large so a lot of parents are pretty scared when this mole that’s bigger than most of the moles that we would just have on our skin sort of that we develop over the years and they can be quite alarming but most of the time they’re completely benign but it’s good if your child is born with a mole just to have it check by the paediatrician. Just to make sure that it really is a mole or make sure it’s okay.

ERIN ESTEVES: So you in case that it’s missed during the wellness check-ups and such.

DR.CAROLINE PIGGOTT: Yes sometimes it can be missed like if the, you know I’ve seen moles that are in between the butt cheeks or . . .


DR.CAROLINE PIGGOTT: Not everyone sees them so if you notice a little brown spot, it’s worth having it checked just to make sure it really is a mole and nothing to worry about and most of them are truly nothing to worry about but the one thing I do encourage is starting at six months of age if you do have one of those mole type of birth marks to start using sun screen just if it’s exposed to the sun.

ERIN ESTEVES: Good tip. You know there’s a really neat little thing trending lately and that were parents are getting tattoos to match they’re children’s birth marks.

DR.CAROLINE PIGGOTT: Oh no way I haven’t heard of that.

SUNNY GAULT: Are you serious?

ERIN ESTEVES: Yeah. Yeah I think it’s the coolest thing and Cash he has one on his forearm and it’s just kind of it almost looks like a lightning bolt you know or a check mark. It’s really cool and I was thinking later on maybe I’ll get…

DR.CAROLINE PIGGOTT: You should get one yeah.

ERIN ESTEVES: The tattoo to match his.

SUNNY GAULT: Yeah I noticed my oldest son has just a little darkened area that’s on his like mid back region and then one of my twins has one almost in the same spot. I’m like how did that happen it was like . . .

DR.CAROLINE PIGGOTT: I see that all the time actually . . .


DR.CAROLINE PIGGOTT: And we don’t know why but I have had many like brother sister who all have you know a birth mark in the same spot on their shoulder.


DR.CAROLINE PIGGOTT: Yeah it’s genetics.

ERIN ESTEVES: And this is totally off topic but well off topic as far as skin conditions but in Buddhism they believe that birth marks are actually manifestations or indications of things that happen in the past life.


ERIN ESTEVES: And they can be things that are reoccurring.



COLINA CAROTHERS: That’s a cool . . .

SUNNY GAULT: Do you guys have birthmarks? I have a birth mark.

COLINA CAROTHERS: I have, mine is kind of weird. It’s you always see it when I’m not tan…


COLINA CAROTHERS: So it’s kind of like a darker area of skin but not really dark. It’s just it’s on the back of my like my lower calf area.



ERIN ESTEVES: Oh it’s a good size.

COLINA CAROTHERS: It’s a good size.

ERIN ESTEVES: Several inches?

COLINA CAROTHERS: Yeah several inches and it’s kind of a funky shape and I’ve had it as long as I can think of.

DR.CAROLINE PIGGOTT: Oh I can’t see it but I wonder if it’s something we call like a café ole.


COLINA CAROTHERS: I like that name?

DR.CAROLINE PIGGOTT: Like coffee with milk. Those are they look kind of like they could be moles but they’re not really they’re more just like light brown birth marks do you think that’s what it is?

COLINA CAROTHERS: Yeah it doesn’t the skin doesn’t look any different. It’s just that if I had . . .

DR.CAROLINE PIGGOTT: Yeah it’s flat right?

COLINA CAROTHERS: Like a weird . . .



DR.CAROLINE PIGGOTT: I bet that’s what it is.

COLINA CAROTHERS: Yeah and my son has a really small one on his arm and my husband didn’t notice it but I did and I was like oh my gosh it’s like what I have but it’s on his arms so I was like oh that’s interesting.

DR.CAROLINE PIGGOTT: Yeah I think I bet that’s what it is. It’s nothing bad at all. Nothing . . .

COLINA CAROTHERS: Yeah I never I was just and I remember it since I was a kid as I get white and all oh that part didn’t get white.



SUNNY GAULT: I have I have a reddish purple one.


SUNNY GAULT: Yeah it’s like on my upper like mid-thigh area of my right . . .


SUNNY GAULT: it’s flat completely flat.

DR.CAROLINE PIGGOTT: I wonder if it’s a port win stain . . .


DR.CAROLINE PIGGOTT: Like a small one.

SUNNY GAULT: Yeah. I mean it’s like maybe is that an inch maybe…


SUNNY GAULT: Like an inch.


SUNNY GAULT: Yeah and it’s pretty thin.

DR.CAROLINE PIGGOTT: Yeah and it’s just always been there it haven’t change?

SUNNY GAULT: It’s always been there. I mean I don’t know if I actually came out with it but like definitely within the first month and so my mom said it just showed up. She was like it was really tiny and then when she got bigger grew and I think how tiny it would have to be . . .

ERIN ESTEVES: It grew with you yeah.

SUNNY GAULT: I was a baby and it grew to an inch now you know…


SUNNY GAULT: But yeah but it’s but it’s red…


SUNNY GAULT: Like purple-ly red I’m like it’s weird.

DR.CAROLINE PIGGOTT: It’s pretty common actually the vascular types…


DR.CAROLINE PIGGOTT: I’ve seen them a lot. There’s a full spectrum of them and most of them are nothing to worry about that a lot of babies somewhere if they’re born full term with somewhere in the first month of life can develop something called a Hemangioma. Some people call it strawberry.


COLINA CAROTHERS: She has a tiny one right on her eyebrow that pretty much has gone away as she’s gotten bigger.

DR.CAROLINE PIGGOTT: But it was it bigger before?



COLINA CAROTHERS: It was like a bump.

DR.CAROLINE PIGGOTT: That sounds like it.

COLINA CAROTHERS: It was almost like a little blister looking thing…


COLINA CAROTHERS: Right on her eyebrow and then she had another one on her shoulder or like the outside of her shoulder and that one was bigger and she still has it but we use to call it her flower. It was her flower and she was super proud of it as if it was like her beautiful flower on her shoulder.

DR.CAROLINE PIGGOTT: Yeah I see those all the time. They’re made of extra blood vessels, nothing harmful or cancerous or dangerous and it’s nothing that happened wrong in pregnancy or anything…


DR.CAROLINE PIGGOTT: But some most of them go away in their own, some don’t, some are left you get a little red spot left over and…


DR.CAROLINE PIGGOTT: They can occur anytime usually in the first month or so. They usually start you know a lot of people think it’s a bruise or something like that to start with and then it grows and often gets raised and it can grow over the first 6-9 months of life and then it kind of stops growing. We call it the plateau phase and then it sits there for awhile and then over the next few years it kind of gets smaller, shrinks down. Sometimes you’re left with a red mark or sometimes you’re left with a little almost fiber fatty tissue where it was kind of like you know when you’re pregnant you’re stomach gets larger and then you deliver the baby…


DR.CAROLINE PIGGOTT: But you’re left with that little bit of something…


DR.CAROLINE PIGGOTT: That’s kind of what the Hemangioma leave behind sometimes but you can imagine if they are really large or on the lips or near the eye, they can actually sometimes cause problems.

ERIN ESTEVES: There was one more the Milia

DR.CAROLINE PIGGOTT: Milia we call them. Have you ever seen those little tiny white bumps that babies have with some usually in the first month and they can be usually on the cheek area? It kind of looks like acne but it’s white and usually under 2mm.

SUNNY GAULT: I think that’s exactly what I was referring to when I said my babies come out and they don’t have that awesome skin…


SUNNY GAULT: But it almost looks like they’ve got Goosebumps. Is that kind of what you’re talking about?

DR.CAROLINE PIGGOTT: It could be yeah it’s more like bright white like cottage cheese…




DR.CAROLINE PIGGOTT: There’s another condition called Keratosis Pilaris that has little bumps that are more firm and don’t Milia look like if you poke a hole in it you could squeeze it out where as there’s another condition called Keratosis Pilaris that stays with you for a lifetime usually where you get little fleshy 1mm say bumps on your cheeks and you can also get them on your arms and legs.


DR.CAROLINE PIGGOTT: Is that what your baby has?

SUNNY GAULT: Well I mean I think they’re growing out of it…


SUNNY GAULT: But it just looks like maybe they weren’t maybe they were Goosebumps. Maybe like maybe I need to dress my kids more.

ERIN ESTEVES: Maybe they were cold.

SUNNY GAULT: No it just kind of because you know it just looked a little raised but now I don’t see it so it was the same color and everything.

DR.CAROLINE PIGGOTT: Well it couldn’t be anything worrisome . . .

SUNNY GAULT: Yeah if it went away it went away right?

DR.CAROLINE PIGGOTT: Exactly. Milia usually we don’t fully know why kids get them but adults get them too but in the first month of life you often get a lot more than you do later in life. They’re a little pile of sebaceous cyst actually the baby cyst and they usually go on their own and in adults I don’t usually do this to babies because it’s painful but adults who get them you can literally under sterile conditions poke a whole and squeeze it out kind of like a pimple but . . .

SUNNY GAULT: Fun . . .

ERIN ESTEVES: Well thank you so much for listening and joining us today. The conversation will continue for members of our Parent Savers club. For more information about the Parent Savers club please visit our website at

[Theme Music]

JOHNER RIEHL: Here’s a question from Shelby. Shelby needs some advice with infant reflux. She says our little guy is three weeks old and seems to be really struggling with this. He fights, screams, arches his back and straightens out during feedings. He cries and looks like he is in pain when he burps. I’ve cut dairy and he is on medication. We are considering a visit to the chiropractor if the medicine doesn’t start helping more. Any tips, advice or even words of encouragement are much appreciated.

DR. TYSON PEREZ: This is Dr. Tyson Perez. I’m a paediatric and family chiropractor at Elevation Family Chiropractic in Charleston California. Hey Shelby I wanted to answer your question regarding acid reflux and colic. It can be a really difficult thing for parents to deal with and you’ve mentioned that you had tried some of the medication and then you’re considering going to see a chiropractor. I think that’s a great idea.

The chiropractor what they will do is look at the neurological function of the child to see if it’s working properly because what can happen if there’s a problem between the communication between the brain and the body then you can see symptoms such as acid reflux. Sometimes there are other things like gas and constipation and other things associated with digestion.

So the first and foremost the chiropractor needs to do a nerve scan to see what’s going on internally to see if chiropractic would be a benefit and then if it would the chiropractor would use gentle paediatric adjustments that are very, very different from what a standard chiropractic adjustment would be so you can always talk to the chiropractor about that. I recommend seeing a paediatric chiropractor and there’s a couple of ways to go about that.

You can either contact me through the Elevation Family Chiropractic and I can put you in the right direction or the ICPA website also has a list of their chiropractors. You can go to and you can tag in your zip code and you’ll find a chiropractor near your area that deals with paediatrics. Again that’s “I C P A, the number 4,”. Anyway Shelby I hope this helps I will talk to you later. Buh-bye.

[Theme Music]

ERIN ESTEVES: That wraps up our show for today. We appreciate you listening to Parent Savers.
Don’t forget to check out our sister shows:
• Preggie Pals for expecting parents
• The Boob Group for moms who breastfeed and
• Twin Talks for parents of multiple kids.

This is Parent Savers empowering new parents.

This has been a New Mommy Media production. Information and material contained in this episode are presented for educational purposes only. Statements and opinions expressed in this episode are not necessarily those of New Mommy Media and should not be considered facts. Though information in which areas are related to be accurate, it is not intended to replace or substitute for professional, Medical or advisor care and should not be used for diagnosing or treating health care problem or disease or prescribing any medications. If you have questions or concerns regarding your physical or mental health or the health of your baby, please seek assistance from a qualified health care provider.

SUNNY GAULT: New Mommy Media is expanding our line up of shows for new and expecting parents. If you have an idea for a new series or if you’re a business or organization interested in joining our network of shows through a co-branded podcast, visit .

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