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August 1966

Relationship Between Toxic Erythema and Infant Maturity

Am J Dis Child. 1966;112(2):129-134. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1966.02090110073006

TOXIC erythema is a benign self-limited dermatitis occurring in newborn infants within the first days of life. The condition was first mentioned by Bartholomaeus Metlinger in 14721 and named erythema toxicum neonatorum by Leiner2 in 1912. It consists of erythematous macular lesions followed by papulovesicular lesions pustules. The etiology of this condition still remains unclear.

It is generally agreed that the incidence of toxic erythema is lower in premature infants than in term infants.3,4 This study was undertaken to determine the relation of three parameters of infant maturity to the development of toxic erythem.

Materials and Methods  A surveillance was made of two term nurseries with an approximate daily population of 25 each and the premature center with an average daily census of 75. All infants less than 12 hours of age when first seen were included in the study and examined daily until their discharge. Term