Neonatal jaundice is a common problem among infants immediately after birth. It is the result of the inability of the neonatal liver to clear bilirubin, a breakdown product of blood cells, from the blood. Neonatal jaundice is usually a self-limiting, mild disorder. The most commonly used treatment is fluorescent light exposure, in which the infant is placed under a lamp for a few hours each day. The blue light breaks down bilirubin into a form the infant liver can process and eliminate.
Review Date 4/1/2017
Updated by: Michael M. Phillips, MD, Clinical Professor of Medicine, The George Washington University School of Medicine, Washington, DC. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.