Neonatal cephalic pustulosis

Author: A/Prof Amanda Oakley, Dermatologist, Hamilton, New Zealand, 2008. Updated April 2014.

What is neonatal cephalic pustulosis?

Neonatal cephalic pustulosis is a variant of "neonatal acne". It is a pustular eruption arising on the face and/or scalp of newborn babies, often during the third week. Unlike true neonatal acne, there are no comedones (blackheads, whiteheads).

What is the cause of neonatal cephalic pustulosis?

Neonatal cephalic pustulosis is related to malassezia colonisation, which may be found on mycology (microscopy and culture) of smears from facial pustules.

What is the treatment for neonatal cephalic pustulosis?

Neonatal cephalic pustulosis generally resolves without treatment. However, if the appearance is unsightly, a topical antifungal such as ketoconazole cream can be used safely and may be helpful.

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