Newborn Baby Care: Skin Tone
A newborn's skin color often has no relationship to what the final skin tone will be when he gets older. Often, the newborn's skin color is different from both of his parents'. The newborn's initial skin tone and its final color are determined by genetics and are often unpredictable. Some say looking at the top of a newborn's ears or at the infant's cuticle skin will predict the future skin color, but this is inaccurate.
There are some skin colors that may or may not be worrisome. Let's start with the non-worrisome skin colors. Babies often have skin with a lacy red or blue pattern (mottling), especially noticeable in lighter-skinned infants. Sometimes you may notice that only the hands and feet are blue or purple (acrocyanosis) while the rest of the baby is normal colored. These two scenarios are common and due to the immature circulatory system in infants; they will resolve as the baby gets older.
It's time to consult your pediatrician if you notice a yellow or orange hue to your baby's skin. This is jaundice, which may be normal within certain parameters; oftentimes your baby will be sent home from the hospital with a bit of jaundice. Your doctor should be notified, though, if your baby gets more orange or yellow after discharge from the hospital.
If your baby turns blue around the lips or face or is blue in the chest, notify your pediatrician immediately. This is not acrocyanosis and may represent something more serious in your infant.