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5 Big New-Mom Decisions

5. SKIN CARE

A luscious complexion is in your sweetie's future -- right after she gets over a few blemishes. These skin conditions are very common and, fortunately, very temporary:

Cradle cap

Flaky yellowish patches on the scalp, forehead, and behind the ears are the hallmarks of cradle cap (known medically as seborrheic dermatitis). Most cases resolve on their own, but you can speed things along by applying a little olive or baby oil to her scalp, then brushing off the scales gently with a soft-bristled baby brush or toothbrush. It's also fine to use a bit of dandruff shampoo (being careful not to get it in your baby's eyes); some doctors consider this approach to be most effective. Again, brush the scales away after shampooing.

Infant acne

You can thank your hormones for these premature pimples -- tiny white or yellow dots with a red base may be seen on her face, back, chest, or belly. Lotions and ointments may exacerbate the problem, so just wait for it to pass in a few weeks.

Milia and miliaria

Milia are little white spots seen on the forehead, nose, and cheeks; miliaria are similar -- a slightly bumpy rash of white, fluid-filled blisters. These breakouts are due to secretions from your baby's immature oil glands; just keep them clean and they'll clear in a few weeks.

Erythema toxicum

They sound scary, but there's nothing dangerous about these red splotches with yellowish-white bumps in the center (think bug bites). They usually erupt soon after birth, then disappear on their own in a week or so. Meanwhile, don't poke, prod, or try to pop them.

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