Acrocyanosis describes a condition in which the mouth and extremities become blue due to a lack of oxygen.  It is common and is most often seen in healthy newborn babies immediately after birth.

Does acrocyanosis go away?

This blueness can last 24 to 48 hours after birth. However, the symptoms can return whenever your baby is cold.  Some parents report the incidence of acrocyanosis after a bath.  The way you can be sure your child is okay is by checking their lips and tongue.  If their lips and tongue are still pink, blueness will disappear as your baby warms up.

Acrocyanosis Signs & Symptoms

  • Blue/red discoloration of the skin
  • Symmetrical discoloration
  • Profuse sweating
  • Swelling
  • Coldness of fingers/toes

Central Cyanosis

Central cyanosis, however, is not as common and can be indicative of a problem.  Discoloration occurs at the “center” of the body: the lips, tongue, mouth, head, and torso, indicating a lower amount of oxygen in the blood. Common conditions that cause central cyanosis include heart, lung, or blood conditions.  If you suspect your child has central cyanosis, please get in touch with their pediatric healthcare provider.

Treatment

Acrocyanosis does not require treatment as it goes away on its own.  Your child is okay, and the blueness is temporary.  However, if your child has central cyanosis, there may be an underlying condition that requires treatment.

 


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