Newborn Acne Is Common
Your sweet little newborn’s soft skin suddenly becomes covered in small, red pimples. It’s hard not to freak outwhat’s happening to your baby’s face?
Don’t worry, Mommy and Dad. Despite how alarming it looks to new parents, newborn baby acne is super common. And there’s no need to worry newborn baby acne is a harmless condition.
Newborn baby acne typically appears within the first month or so after birth, although it can occur earlier or later. Some babies are even born with a mild case of baby acne. You may see a spike in breakouts between weeks two and four.
The good news is newborn baby acne is fleeting and nearly always goes away quickly and without treatment. Most cases of newborn baby acne completely clear by the time the little one reaches 6 months old.
Tips To Care For Babys Skin
Clearing up baby acne is generally a matter of time and patience. It typically disappears within the first four months of life without the need for treatment. If it doesnt, your dermatologist may prescribe topical lotion to help it go away. In the rare cases when additional intervention is necessary, particularly for infantile acne, your doctor may recommend topical antibiotics to help improve the appearance of babys skin over time.6
In the meantime, continue to keep babys skin clean with a mild cleanser such as our Baby Wash & Shampoo,. Its fragrance free and paraben free formula with three essential ceramides does not disrupt babys protective skin barrier as it develops. Try to incorporate it into babys routine even after the baby acne phase is behind you to gently cleanse babys skin.
When To See The Pediatrician About Baby Acne
Generally speaking, theres no need to see your pediatrician specifically for baby acne. If youre concerned about trying to prevent or get rid of baby acne on the face, or youre not sure whether its infant acne or something else, its never a bad idea to discuss it with babys pediatrician. It can be reassuring to find out exactly whats going on with babys skin and, in the case of baby acne, to hear directly from the doctor that its truly nothing to be concerned about.
About the experts:
Katie Pyle, DO, is a pediatrician at UCHealth Pediatric Care Clinic in Firestone, Colorado, with a clinical interest in newborn care. She earned her medical degree from Lincoln Memorial University-DeBusk College of Osteopathic Medicine.
Meagan ONeill, MD, is a pediatrician with Riley Childrens Health in Indianapolis. She earned her medical degree from Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis.
Omar Baker, MD, FAAP, is an assistant clinical professor in the department of pediatrics at Columbia University and co-president of Riverside Medical Group in Northern New Jersey. He earned his medical degree from George Washington University.
Please note: The Bump and the materials and information it contains are not intended to, and do not constitute, medical or other health advice or diagnosis and should not be used as such. You should always consult with a qualified physician or health professional about your specific circumstances.
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What Type Of Birth Control Is Best For Treating Acne
In practice, doctors prescribe birth control methods to treat the entire spectrum of acne, from mild to severe. Also, doctors may prescribe additional contraceptives for acne. For example, the oral contraceptives Yasmin and Alesse have been clinically shown to reduce acne. But none of them have been approved by the FDA for this use.
What If Baby Acne Doesnt Clear Up
If your babys break out just wont clear, you may be mistaking another skin condition for baby acne. Below are some various skin conditions that are similar to baby acne but require their own diagnosis and set of remedies.
- Milia: These are tiny white bumps, similar looking to whiteheads, which appear on nose, chin, and cheeks of baby. Milia can be present from birth, unlike baby acne, which sets in later. It can also occur alongside baby acne as your babys skin adjusts to life outside the womb. It is more often caused by sloughed off skin cells that get trapped in the outer layer of dermis.
- Heat Rash: While baby acne is on the face, heat rash tends to appear where the baby is clothed, including on the chest, stomach and neck, but also on the thighs and buttocks. Heat rash looks like a reddening of the skin with lots of tiny red bumps.
- Baby Eczema: While it can look similar to baby acne, especially when it shows up on the cheeks, its trademark look is red, patchy and scaly dry skin. It is very common in babies, and can also pop up in high-friction areas, like the folds of those tiny little elbows and knees. Eczema can be caused by diet, lifestyle, gut flora imbalance, dryness and also by genetics, if a parent suffers from eczema.
- Infection: If the bumps spread beyond face or if baby has a fever or cold symptoms, call your pediatrician immediately as these may be signs of an infection like roseola or RSV.
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Bottom Line On Baby Acne
Faith with baby acne at five weeks of age.
Albeit unsightly, baby acne is completely normal and common and poses no risk to your bundle of joy. Its tempting to look for a quick fix, but its best to be patient. The human skin has so many built-in protections, fail safes, and processes that are best carried out with minimal meddling. Take time to marvel every precious inch of your baby and know that the baby acne will be gone soon!
How Long Does Baby Acne Last
Baby acne usually clears anywhere from a few weeks after she’s born to the time she’s about 3 to 4 months old which happens to be a terrific time to schedule those professional pics leaving that beautiful baby skin youve been waiting for in its place.
And just in case you’re already worrying about your little one being teased in middle school, know that baby acne doesn’t leave permanent scars like the grown-up version can, and it doesn’t predict future teen acne problems.
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Newborn Acne Is Generally Nothing To Worry About
About 20% of newborns have a type of acne called neonatal acne. Youll usually see it at about 2 weeks of age. However, it can develop any time before 6 weeks of age. Sometimes, a baby is born with acne.
If your newborn has acne, youll usually see breakouts on your babys cheeks and nose. Acne can also appear on a babys forehead, chin, scalp, neck, back, or chest.
Neonatal acne is generally nothing to worry about. It rarely causes a scar and tends to go away on its own in a few weeks to months.
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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Can A Birth Control Pill Lead To Better Skin
It was concluded that any claims that the pill can improve skin conditions should be viewed with caution. A 2018 review confirmed that all the different hormones in combination birth control pills are effective at reducing acne inflammation. Acne can come in many forms, including: Women can get acne:
How Can I Treat Baby Acne
Treatment is usually not required for little spots and pimples.
Baby acne should not cause any itching or discomfort to your child. It’s actually best to leave the area alone as using lotions and creams can aggravate the condition by clogging the pores.
- Gently cleanse the area once a day with a soft cloth and water or gentle hypoallergenicbaby wipes that contain no soap. Remember to pat dry.
- Do not pop, pinch or pick at the pimples
- If your baby is scratching their face, try popping soft, cotton mittens on their hands, at night.
- Acne cream or medicine developed for adults is not advised for use on babies, as they contain chemicals that are harsh on delicate skin.
- If the acne seems worse after bub has been breastfed, you may consider changing your diet some mothers report that eating citrus fruits cause skin problems in their baby.
You should consult your baby’s doctor or early childhood nurse if:
- The outbreak spreads to other parts of their body
- The acne has not cleared after a few months
- The acne is accompanied with a fever or wheezing, or if the skin appears to be more red than normal
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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.
Conditions Visually Similar To Baby Acne
These conditions manifest through red bumps or rashes on the skin of the baby, look similar to baby acne:
At times, acne may not be easy to differentiate from atopic dermatitis.
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What Are The Symptoms
Fleshy or red pimples occur predominantly on the cheeks, but are also quite common on the forehead and chin. Whiteheads are sometimes present.
The acne will be most prominent when the baby is hot or fussy , or when the skin is irritated. If the skin comes into contact with cloth laundered in harsh detergents, or becomes wet from spit-up saliva or milk, the condition may appear worse for several days.
Keep The Skin Amply Moist/dry:
If it is humid summer, then keep his skin dry if it is dry winter, then keep his skin moist. Maintaining ample levels of moisture and dryness according to the season is quite important. The underdeveloped skin is too primitive to maintain moisture on its own. Therefore, it needs external intervention through moisturizers and ventilation.
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The Power Of Honey And Lemon
Lemon and honey both have an outstanding effect on the skin. In fact, they are considered the best treatment for delicate skin and what can be more delicate than your babys skin!
Immaturity And Sensitivity Of The Skin:
Babies have a developing epidermis, the outer layer of the skin. Their skin can be so sensitive that it is easily affected by simple events such as a change in temperature, contact with an abrasive material or even too much pressure at a point.
All babies have sensitive skin. Thus, this theory does not explain why some babies suffer from acne while some never get it.
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Tips For Baby Skin Care
- You dont need to bath your baby every day. Every second day or a few times a week is fine.
- Pat, rather than rub, your babys skin to dry them off after a bath.
Powders and soaps
- Do not use antimicrobial cleansers or any that contain chlorhexidine, as these are harsh on your babys skin.
- Be cautious of herbal cleansers, as they can cause a skin reaction.
- Do not use talcum powder.
- Most skin dryness will clear up on its own, but if you use a moisturiser, choose a simple one that has no added perfumes or ingredients.
- Try to use a moisturiser that has been tested for use on babies.
- Keep your baby warm, but not hot. Being hot can dry their skin.
- If you have a family history of skin issues your babys skin care may need extra care so talk to your midwife, nurse or doctor.
When Should I Call My Doctor
If your infants acne does not resolve on its own within 3 months, contact your doctor. Also seek medical evaluation if other symptoms arise such as skin blisters or peeling, fevers, fussiness, or poor feeding.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 07/01/2018.
- Bolognia J, Cerroni L, Schaffer JV, eds. Dermatology. Philadelphia: Elsevier Saunders 2018. p. 593.
- Eichenfield, LF, Frieden IJ, Mathes E, Zaenglein AL. Neonatal and Infant Dermatology. 3rd ed. Philadelphia: Elsevier Saunders 2014. p. 70.
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7 Things You Should Know About Birth Control Pills: Pros & Cons 1. Benefits: Reduces Cancer Risk 2. Benefits: Eliminates Acne 3. Cons: You Must Take Them Every Day 4. Benefits: Reduces Menstrual Cramps 5 Cons: Can Increase Libido 6. Benefits: May relieve migraine pain 7. Cons: May increase the risk of heart disease or stroke.
What Does It Mean If My Baby Has Red Cheeks
Red cheeks are actually a common sign of teething in babies. The tooth that is coming put from the gum can cause irritation that results in red cheeks in your baby. You can also feel that your baby cheeks are warm. That is something parents should not worry about because that is perfectly normal.
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Redness On The Bottom
Your babys bottom becomes red. The redness can spread to the thighs, vulva, or scrotum. Your baby appears uncomfortable and irritable, especially when he or she pees.
These symptoms of diaper rash are very common. They are mainly caused by the skin coming in contact with urine or stools and sometimes the diapers themselves. Washable diapers can irritate the skin if they are not rinsed well enough or are not changed often enough. Some brands of scented disposable diapers can also irritate your babys skin.
What Does Baby Acne Look Like
The characteristic signs of newborn acne are small red or white bumps that can appear all over the body but are usually concentrated on babys face and torso. You might also spy tiny white bumps on your newborns forehead, cheeks or near the mouth, called milia. These actually arent baby acne, per seinstead, the bumps are dead skin cells trapped in small pockets on the skins surface and tend to disappear within the first few weeks of life.
Infant acne can manifest as a crop or cluster of raised red bumps, sometimes filled with pus, and can appear anywhere on the body. Sometimes they disappear on their own sometimes they require treatment. Unlike neonatal acne, they can be a predictor of skin issues later in life, so partnering with a pediatrician or pediatric dermatologist can help set up a smart course of treatment, says Omar Baker, MD, FAAP, assistant clinical professor in the department of pediatrics at Columbia University and co-president of Riverside Medical Group in Northern New Jersey.
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Birth Control For Acne Before And After
How does birth control help treat acne? Effects of contraceptives on acne. The hormones in birth control pills can help reduce acne. The tablets reduce the circulation of androgens, which reduces the production of sebum. The tablets must contain both estrogen and progestin to be effective against acne.