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Erythema Toxicum

Extracted from Myles Textbook for Midwives 15th Edition. Diane M. Fraser, Margaret A. Cooper (Eds). London; Churchill Livingstone: 2009. Courtesy Elsevier.

Erythema toxicum is a rash consisting of white papules on an erythematous base. It occurs in about 30 - 70 per cent of infants. The condition is benign and should not be confused with a staphylococcal infection, which will require antibiotics. Diagnosis can be confirmed by microscopic examination of a smear of aspirate from a pustule, which will show numerous eosinophils (white cells indicative of an allergic response rather than infection).

Further reading

DermNet NZ. Toxic erythema of the newborn. Available at:

Knott L. (2013).Erythema toxicum neonatorum. Professional reference available at:


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