Pat Your Baby Dry After A Bath
Towels can be notoriously coarse…especially on your babys tender skin. And if they suffer from baby acne, the feeling can be even worse.
To keep bath towels from wreaking havoc on your babys acne, always pat their skin dry instead of rubbing. Rubbing with a rough cloth like a towel or washcloth can remove skin cells , which, in most cases, is a good thing. But for your babys already-irritated skin, it can cause more problems.
Similarly, the heat created by rubbing your little one dry can contribute to the discomfort caused by baby acne. Always gently pat your babys skin dry.
How To Stop It
When it comes to get rid of baby acne, you cannot treat the acne just like the common one. Babys skin is really different with adult skin. That is why the acne has a different treatment. Here are the tips!
- Rinse the acne area using clean water twice or three times daily. Dry it gently.
- Avoid using soap and adult products on acne area.
- Follow some home remedies using natural ingredients.
Is It Baby Acne Or A Rash
While its possible to confuse infant acne with that other common newborn skin condition, milia, the two arent the same. Baby acne looks like red pimples, while milia are tiny white bumps or whiteheads. But you need to treat both conditions the same: with washing, watching and waiting.
There are also a number of skin rashes and other skin conditions in newborn babies which, unlike newborn acne, are often itchy and uncomfortable for your little one and tend to spread beyond the face. A few of the most common:
- Baby heat rash: These clusters of tiny, moist, red bumps look similar to acne and often appear on babys arms, legs, upper chest and diaper area in addition to her face when its hot outside.
- Diaper rash: This rash caused by moisture, irritants and too little air appears as red, irritated skin in babys diaper area.
- Cradle cap: Also called seborrheic dermatitis, these tiny red bumps are smaller than acne and may be accompanied by yellow, flaky skin that looks like scales. While it usually appears on the head, it may spread to the eyebrows and upper body too.
- Infant eczema: Skin appears dry, flaky and red, usually in patches around the cheeks and on the scalp. The rash then spreads, often to elbow creases and behind the knees, and progresses to fluid-filled pimples that pop. If eczema is not treated, it can lead to scabbing and oozing.
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Dont Let Your Baby Scratch Or Pick
Unlike you, your baby doesnt understand whats going on with their skin. The swelling and itchiness may cause your little one to scratch, rub, or pick their baby acne without even knowing it.
If you see your babys skin becoming more red and swollen, or if you see your little one rub the inflamed areas, its time to cover their hands with baby mittens or soft socks. This doesnt have to be a permanent thing, and your baby doesnt have to wear them all the time. Its simply to give the acne time to heal.
Transient Neonatal Pustular Melanosis
Transient neonatal pustular melanosis is a common skin condition in newborns. It appears as small pus-filled spots. It is harmless and will go away by itself.
This skin condition is more common in newborns with black skin. The spots usually disappear within , but they may leave dark marks on the skin for several months.
The spots usually appear on the following body parts:
- small of the back
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How Do You Clear Up Baby Acne
These tips are useful for caring for your babys skin while he or she has acne:
How To Use Breast Milk For Baby Acne
One benefit of using your breast milk to treat baby acne is that its natural, free and, well, widely available.
As a bonus, breast milk is also gentle on a babys sensitive skin. Simply dab a little breast milk on their skin after feedings to reduce inflammation and gradually treat the acne.
You can use a clean finger to apply the breast milk, or dip a cotton ball in breast milk and then gently rub the cotton over your babys acne.
Since breast milk is gentle, you can use this natural remedy several times throughout the day until the acne clears.
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Newborn Acne Occurs Before Six Weeks Of Age
As its name implies, neonatal acne usually develops in the neonate period, which is the first four weeks of a baby’s life. It typically pops up around two weeks of age, but can occur anytime before six weeks.
It looks like small superficial pustules, which usually appear on a baby’s cheeks, chin, and forehead, and more rarely on the neck and upper body. You can identify neonatal acne because it’s usually very mild and doesn’t have any whiteheads or blackheads.
“It gets better on its own within a few weeks or months, usually no treatment is necessary,” Gagin says. And according to the American Academy of Dermatology, it won’t usually leave any lasting scars.
About 20%, or one in five, healthy newborns will develop neonatal acne.
What Causes Baby Acne On The Face
The weird thing about baby acne is that no one really knows for sure whats behind it. Like adolescent acne, it is reckoned to be down to overactive oil glands in the skin. But what makes them overactive in the first place is anyones guess.
Most doctors put it down to hormones both yours and your babys. Baby acne is more common in boys, and it is believed to be the result of a higher quantity of testosterone in their system.
However, this is nothing to fret over. The hormones thought to cause acne wont affect any other part of your babys development. Its just a little skin blemish for now which will almost certainly pass without a trace.
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What If The Baby Has Acne After 6 Weeks Of Age
Although most baby acne typically goes away by 6 weeks of age, in some cases it can last a little longer, or even appear for the first time after the newborn period.
Baby acne that appears after 6 weeks is referred to as infantile acne.
For persistent cases still apparent after 6 weeks, or new cases of infantile acne that first appear after 6 weeks of age, its best to seek advice from a properly trained and certified health professional, such as a pediatric dermatologist.
A pediatric dermatologist will be able to take a medical history to help determine what is causing baby acne in your child.
Sometimes, it can be due to topical products your babys skin is extra sensitive to at other times it might be an indication of another health problem.
A dermatologist will advise you whether or not its necessary to treat your infant and suggest the most appropriate skincare products to use.
Keep Irritants Away From Your Babys Skin
Weve already talked about rough fabrics like towels, washcloths, and clothing, but there are other fabrics that can irritate your babys sensitive skin. Keep your infant away from furniture covered in coarse fabric. Dont let your little one roll around on the carpet if its particularly scratchy.
You may even need to inspect your childs stuffed animals to make sure that none of them are too rough. And if you have pets, be extra vigilant about keeping your babys environment clean, because dander can trigger an allergic reaction in acne-prone skin.
Various perfumes can also irritate your babys acne. Opt out of traditional perfumes or air fresheners and use Mustelas Musti Eau De Soin Spray instead. This natural, delicately scented spray is a versatile product that you can use on yourself, your baby, or your linens.
To ensure your babys environment is clean and free from allergens, use products that only contain natural ingredients.
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Should You Be Worried About Baby Acne
We get that baby acne can be a concerning sight for any mama. Yet, dont let it get you down. All of those pimples and bumps should clear up by themselves after only a matter of weeks.
If they dont, get your little one to a doctor, who will help you find a treatment that works.
Learn more about your baby:
Is It Baby Acne Or Rash
All this talk of red, raised bumps can sound suspiciously like describing a rash. So how do you know if its baby acne or a rash? Baby acne falls under the umbrella of a rash.
A rash is defined as any skin change, and broadly speaking, neonatal and infantile acne are both considered rashes.
That said, it can be tough to tell the difference between baby acne and other benign skin conditions that commonly affect newborns and infants, like heat rash or eczema.
Eczema and skin infections are generally red and inflamed, with areas of very dry and sometimes cracked skin, says Baker.
Eczema and other worrisome rashes will often cause the baby a good deal of discomfort and could present with other symptoms like extreme fussiness, excessive spit-up or fever.
If youre concerned about possible baby acne, flag it for your paediatrician, who can diagnose the problem and provide the best course of treatment.
Plus, discussing any skin breakouts or eruptions with your doctor can help you become familiar with your babys unique skin needs.
There are also several skin rashes and other skin conditions in newborn babies which, unlike newborn acne, are often itchy and uncomfortable for your little one and tend to spread beyond the face.
Here are some of the common breakouts:
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Other Ways To Help Clear Baby Acne
But while breast milk is a natural remedy, it isnt the only remedy to help get rid of stubborn baby acne. Here are a few tips to help clear your babys skin:
- Bathe your baby. Newborns dont need to be bathed daily. But you can give your baby a bath using warm water and mild baby soap to gently cleanse their pores. Baby soap is gentle and delicate to their sensitive skin, thus less likely to cause skin irritation.
- Dont put lotion on your babys face. Clogged pores can cause acne, so only use moisturizing body lotion thats designed for a babys sensitive skin. Also, choose baby lotion thats fragrant-free and nongreasy to avoid skin irritation. Try these options.
- Dont scrub bumps. When bathing your baby or applying breast milk to acne, be gentle and dont scrub. Accidentally popping acne bumps can cause scarring or a skin infection. Also, take steps to prevent your baby from scratching their own acne. Cover their hands with socks or mittens, and keep their nails trimmed.
What Are The Causes Of Baby Acne
Do you know what triggers baby acne? Well, the exact cause of this skin issue is yet to be ascertained. However, it is believed that baby acne is also caused by the same things that cause acne in adults. A combination of oils, hormones and bacteria are thought to be responsible for triggering these red bumps. It is also believed that the mothers lingering hormones combined with the babys own oils give rise to baby acne. This is the reason behind the baby acne being at its worst during the first month of the babys life.
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What Should I Do
If your baby develops ETN, there is no need to worry. Your baby will not be in any discomfort or have any distress related to the rash. The skin may look red and angry but do your best to ignore it.
Avoid over-washing the baby – babies have delicate skin that can dry out easily with detergents. Resist any temptation to pick, squeeze or burst any pus-filled spots . This would make a skin infection more likely to occur. Creams and lotions are not required for the rash. If you are already using products to wash and moisturise your baby it is fine to continue them but ensure they are fragrance-free and designed for use in babies.
A Dermatologist Can Tell You When To Treat Your Babys Acne
Seeing acne on your babys skin can be worrisome. A dermatologist can tell you whether you need to treat it. When acne requires treatment, you can rely on a dermatologists expertise to treat your baby safely.
ImagesImage of newborn acne used with permission of the American Academy of Dermatology National Library of Dermatologic Teaching Slides.
Image of baby being bathed,
ReferencesEichenfield LF, Krakowski AC, et al. Evidence-based recommendations for the diagnosis and treatment of pediatric acne. Pediatrics. 2013 131 Suppl 3:S163-86.
Serna-Tamayo C, Janniger CK, et al. Neonatal and infantile acne vulgaris: An update. Cutis 2014 94:13-15.
Zaenglein AL and Thiboutot DM. Acne vulgaris. In: Bolognia JL, et al. Dermatology. . Mosby Elsevier, Spain, 2008:500.
All content solely developed by the American Academy of Dermatology
The American Academy of Dermatology gratefully acknowledges the support from Galderma Laboratories, L.P.
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How Is Baby Acne Treated
Baby acne usually disappears without any treatment.
In some babies, it lingers for months and in such cases, medicated creams and ointments help clear it up.
One can also follow a few acne treatment tips that can help in its treatment:
- Do not squeeze or scrub the acne
- Clean the area with warm water gently and pat it dry
- Never use soap or lotion on affected areas
- Avoid using skin care products meant for adults on babies
- Try home remedies to provide relief to the child
Other Baby Acne Notes
Baby acne can be confused with infantile acne. Infantile acne will last until about 6 months old and contain pustules and possibly cysts, not just whiteheads and blackheads. It is also more red and inflamed than baby acne. Infantile acne is linked to genetics. Your child is more likely to experience it if you or your partner had severe acne as a teenager. While baby acne is not linked to breakouts later in life, infantile acne is linked to more extreme teen acne.
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When To See A Doctor
You may need to see a dermatologist if your babys acne doesnt resolve within several months. You should also visit a dermatologist if your baby has infantile acne after they are 6 weeks old. Following a doctors advice can help prevent infantile acne from causing scars.
The doctor will look at your baby and make sure the skin condition is in fact acne. Its possible to mistake acne with another skin condition, so your doctor will want to rule out other possibilities like rashes, infection, or skin irritation.
Your doctor may ask you if other people in your family have acne, and what kind of products youve been applying to your babys skin. If youre using multiple products, be prepared to list them all.
If your baby develops acne after theyre 6 weeks old, it could be a sign of another issue. Your baby’s doctor may want to do an x-ray or blood test to investigate.
Make sure to tell your doctor if your baby has had any other symptoms like fever, other skin problems, or abnormal behavior.
Most cases of infantile acne last six months to a year or longer. Children with infantile acne can have more severe acne when they are teenagers.
Caring For Acne On Your Babys Skin
If your baby has acne, dermatologists recommend that you:
Never put acne medicine or acne wash on your babys skin, unless your childs dermatologist or pediatrician recommends it.
Be very gentle with your babys skin, and avoid scrubbing the acne.
Wash your babys skin with lukewarm water.
Stop using any oily or greasy skin care products.
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How To Care For Baby Acne
When caring for your babys acne, its best to keep it simple. Use lukewarm water and a mild baby soap to cleanse the area.
Be gentle with their skin. Avoid scrubbing your babys face or any affected areas, and pat their skin dry after washing. Dont pinch the acne or try to pop any pustules.
Dont use any medicated skin products or acne face wash on your baby unless your dermatologist recommends it. Dont apply any facial lotions, ointments, or baby oil to the areas. It could make your baby’s acne worse.
Natural Remedies For Baby Acne
If youre eager to test out natural home remedies to treat babys skin, its smart to first check in with your pediatrician, who can assess your childs skin and make sure those treatments wont cause any additional harm.
Most natural remedies arent well studied in children, so its hard to predict what side effects may occur, ONeill says.
Particularly with something you may be putting on your babys skin, you might run the risk of causing further irritation or inflammation.
Some natural remedies for baby acne that you may want to discuss with babys doctor include:
Coconutoil.Coconut oil is a tried-and-true baby acne treatment around the world and oneBaker recommends to his pediatric patients. This ultra-hydrating oil can helpmoisturize babys skinjust add a few drops to a cotton ball and swab over thebabys face.
Breast milk. Breast milk for baby acne may sound like an old wives tale, but there may be something to it. Breast milk contains lauric acid, which has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory characteristics, Baker says, adding that wiping a few drops of milk over babys skin and then letting it air dry may help.
I swore by this, says Jenna, a nursing mom of a one-year-old. It seemed to clear up my daughters skin.
Changing your diet. Nursing? It may be worth discussing your current breastfeeding diet with your paediatrician, who may recommend cutting back on certain foods, like dairy or citrus.
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