Cutaneous lesions in neonatal intensive care unit in a tertiary care center

Kikkeri Narayanshetty Naveen, Praveen S Bagalkote, Sachin Manohar Shetty, Umesh Dixit


Objective To document the pattern of skin lesions among the neonates admitted in intensive care unit and evaluate the association between age, gender, maturity and birth weight. 


Methods A total of 200 neonates, who were hospitalized in the NICU of SDMCMS&H were included in this single contact cross-sectional study. All diagnoses were made on clinical basis. The relationships between the occurrence of the lesions with the various maternal and neonatal factors were analyzed. The statistical analysis of the associations was done using percentage and student t-test.


Results The following cutaneous changes were noted. Lanugo hair was found in 121 neonates. 93 children showed Mongolian spots. The signs of miniature puberty were found in 82 children.105 children had sebaceous hyperplasia. 77 children had physiological desquamation. Erythema neonatorum was found in 59 patients and in only 3 of them it persisted beyond 7 days. 40 children had miliaria. Cutis marmorata was noted in 20 children. Other transient skin conditions seen were milia (5), vernix caseosa (5), acrocyanosis (3), neonatal acne (3), erythema toixcum neonatorum (1) and neonatal alopecia (1).


Conclusion Skin lesions are very common in the neonatal period. In the present study, most of the skin lesions were physiological and transitory. Pediatrician and dermatologists should be aware of these skin lesion in neonatal ICU and should be able to differentiate it from serious skin conditions in order to avoid unnecessary investigations and treatment in neonates.



Neonates, lanugo hair, Mongolian spots, sebaceous hyperplasia, cutis marmorata, vernix caseosa, acrocyanosis, neonatal acne, erythema toixcum neonatorum, neonatal alopecia

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