Why Theres No Need To Be Concerned About Newborn Baby Acne
While red blotches on your babys previously perfect skin might seem like cause for alarm, newborn baby acne really is nothing to worry about. It affects up to half of babies, clears up on its own in almost all cases, and leaves no scars or marks. It also doesnt harm your baby. In fact, theyll feel no ill effects whatsoever.
If your baby develops spots or a rash and youre not sure what it is, always speak to your GP, midwife or health visitor. If your baby seems unwell and has other symptoms, such as a fever, go straight to your GP.
If you found our newborn baby acne treatment, causes & signs handy and are seeking more information on your little one’s skin – check out our other skin related articles on our Parenting Community below:
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 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.
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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.
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.
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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.
Introduction To Baby Acne:
To many parentsâ dismay, their beautiful newbornâs face breaks out with red bumps at around 3 to 4 weeks of age. This is called baby acne. It tends to occur at about the same age as the babyâs peak gas production and fussiness. How attractive! Parents are often quite concerned both about how these bumps look and about their significance.
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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.
Baby Acne Vs Infantile Acne
If symptoms start at 3 to 6 months of age, this is known as infantile acne.
Like neonatal acne, infantile acne also generally affects the face and occurs more commonly in boys. This type of acne usually goes away on its own within three months to a year, but sometimes it can be more severe and carry a risk of scarring. As a result, long-term treatment with topical retinoids and antibacterials may be required. Testing for elevated levels of hormones is also done sometimes.
Most cases of infantile acne resolve by age 4 or 5, but some remain active into puberty. Babies with a history of infantile acne have an increased incidence of teenage acne. If your baby is developing acne, notify your pediatrician.
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When To Call The Doctor
From the What to Expect editorial team and Heidi Murkoff, author of What to Expect When You’re Expecting. What to Expect follows strict reporting guidelines and uses only credible sources, such as peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions and highly respected health organizations. Learn how we keep our content accurate and up-to-date by reading our medical review and editorial policy.
Which Babies Get Erythema Toxicum Neonatorum
On average, ETN occurs in healthy babies born at full term, between 3 and 14 days of age. The rash can occur in the first 48 hours of life but 9 out of 10 cases are in babies more than 2 days old.
Overall, it seems to be more common in babies who are heavier at birth, in babies born in the summer or autumn and in babies who are fed milk powder substitute or a mixed diet.
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Do Not Pick At The Bumps
You may be tempted to pop or pick at the bumps on your babys face. Do your best to resist this urge. Breaking open the acne does little good in the long run and can lead to infection and scarring.
You might even cause your babys sebaceous glands to kick into high gear and produce even more oil. That extra oil on your babys skin can cause yet another acne breakout.
Why Do Babies Get Acne
What causes baby acne to flare up?
Newborn skin is, well new. Its still figuring out how to adjust especially after being in the womb for 9 months.
According to What To Expect, baby acne is usually caused by moms leftover hormones circulating in the babys bloodstream after birth. It usually appears from 2-3 weeks old and is common until hormones level off.
Hormones stimulate babys sensitive skin and oil glands. This makes pimples pop up.
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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.
Do I Need To See A Doctor About Baby Acne
Usually, you wont need to see a doctor about baby acne. However, you may want to see a doctor if baby’s acne lasts for several months. Your doctor may prescribe a treatment to help clear babys acne.
The American Academy of Dermatology also recommends seeing a doctor if baby acne begins when baby is over 6 weeks old. This is much less common than neonatal acne. It may be a sign of another health problem, or a sign that a product youre using is irritating the skin on babys face. Or, what is thought to be acne at this stage might not be acne at all.
If it is acne, though, and develops after six weeks of age, its known as infantile acne . Infantile acne usually appears between 3 and 6 months of age. Unlike neonatal acne, it can sometimes cause blackheads, and could potentially cause a scar. But fortunately, this type of acne often clears up on its own as well .
You should also see a doctor if your babys acne seems infected. Excessive swelling, excessive redness, discharge, and fever may be signs of infection.
And of course, if you suspect that babys facial rash is caused by eczema or an allergy , be sure to let your doctor know.
All health-related content on this website is for informational purposes only and does not create a doctor-patient relationship. Always seek the advice of your own pediatrician in connection with any questions regarding your babys health.
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How To Prevent Baby Acne
While its impossible to prevent neonatal acne, the newborn period is the best time to develop smart infant skin care habits, which can help prevent future rashes, infant acne and skin issues. Even if baby was lucky enough to be born with silky-smooth skin, many of the strategies used to treat baby acne can also help prevent it:
Go fragrance free. The chemicals that make up artificial fragrances can irritate babys sensitive skin. Try hypoallergenic products, including lotions, shampoos and laundry detergents, when possible, to help prevent newborn acne.
Wash, dont scrub. Scrubbing can cause further irritation and make matters worse. Instead, gently wipe and pat babys skin dry to help prevent baby acne on the face.
Bathe baby regularly. For older, active infants, dirt and oil can get trapped in pores and exacerbate breakouts, just like with adults, so giving baby frequent baths can help minimize the possibility of breakouts.
To Conclude On Home Remedies For Baby Acne
In most cases newborn acne will disappear on its own especially when you have tried out the above discussed home remedies for acne in infants. Although it may take several months a reason many mothers become anxious and worried. If you really doubt the type of rash on your newborn then you can take him/her to a specialist for diagnosis.
Under any circumstance, you are not recommended to deal with your babys skin rashes and red pimples using any over the counter medications without the doctors prescription. The best way is to try out the discussed home remedies for baby acne without any sophisticated treatment.
When the doctor realizes the condition is severe he or she is likely to prescribe some medications for baby acne treatment. Benzoyl peroxide or tropical acne creams are commonly used in the treatment. Mild doses of these medications may be recommended by a pediatrician to help in curing of neonatal. Organic Healing Gel is also useful depending on the condition.
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Avoid Greasy Skincare Products
Do not use any greasy skincare products such as lotions, creams and oils. They contribute to clogging the pores hence elevating more chances of neonatal on your infant.
Keep the baby away from hot environments including heavy and woolly baby clothing. Heat causes rashes to be more sensitive and may make the baby uncomfortable. Ensure the clothing and covering are moderate porous to allow free exchange of gases on the skin.
Before thinking of treatment for baby acne ensure you have tried out all the above-discussed home remedies for baby acne. When symptoms persist for more than four to six months you should take your baby to the pediatrics for further medical examination.
Heres How Baby Eczema Occurs
Eczema, on the other hand, isnât just a few pimples on the skinâs surface. Itâs actually a lot more intense than that. âEczema, medically known as Atopic dermatitis, is a chronic, pruritic, inflammatory skin disease that occurs most frequently in children but also affects many adults,â says Dr. Agarwal. âThe fact that it is a chronic condition differentiates it from infant acne, which is self-limited.â And thatâs one of the major ways you can tell the difference between baby eczema vs. acne: eczema is chronic while baby acne will eventually go away.
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When Does It Present
According to the Mayo Clinic, baby acne often develops within the first two to four weeks after birth. It may develop any time before six weeks of age, though. Some babies are even born with it! This type of acne is also known as neonatal acne. When baby acne develops after six weeks of age, its referred to as infantile acne.
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S For Baby Acne Treatment
- 1 Dont Pick, Pop, or Squeeze:
Babys skin is delicate, and opening up pimples on their face risks damage.
- 2 Wash Baby with Lukewarm Water:
Cleansing the affected area with lukewarm, not hot, water and a soft washcloth is helpful. If youd like to use a cleanser, opt for a mild soap made specifically for babies instead of generic body soaps or adult face cleansers.
- 3 Avoid Scrubbing:
Rubbing babys acne roughly or with a coarse cloth can further irritate the skin. Instead, wash gently with a soft washcloth and mild cleanser designed for babys delicate skin. Afterward, gently pat dry instead of rubbing.
- 4 Skip the Treatments:
Babys acne may persist for weeks or even a few months, but its critical to steer clear of any over-the-counter acne treatments unless specifically directed by your doctor.
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What Causes Erythema Toxicum Neonatorum
The exact cause is unknown. It is not due to an infection, even though pus-filled spots are often present.
Various ideas have been suggested, including the possibility that it is a normal effect of a baby’s immune system. It is not an allergic problem. It is also not related to whether the baby is breast-fed or bottle-fed.
What Do The Words Erythema Toxicum Neonatorum Mean
Erythema is the medical word for redness. Neonatorum refers to the fact that the rash occurs in the neonatal period. The neonatal period is the time between birth and 28 days of age. A baby in this age range is called a neonate.
The name erythema toxicum neonatorum is confusing because the condition is not toxic. It is also not the same as the acne that affects young people and adults.
Erythema Toxicum Neonatorum
Natural skin treatments you can find in your own home are becoming more and more popular, but is…
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Other Types Of Rash You Might Mistake For Baby Acne
Baby acne isnât the only possible cause of red spots or blotches on your newbornâs skin. Here are a couple of other common baby rashes it might be easy to mistake for baby acne:
Erythema toxicum neonatorum. If the rash appears in the first week and looks red and blotchy, it may be erythema toxicum neonatorum. This kind of rash may appear on the body, chest, upper arms and thighs as well as the face. Like baby acne, it also clears up by itself in a few weeks without treatment. Youâll be glad to know it wonât make your infant feel unwell.
Milia. Raised, pearly white spots on your babyâs face could be milia. These bumps are caused by flakes of skin blocking your infantâs pores. Milia doesnât need treatment and the spots are often gone within a few weeks or so.
Your midwife, health visitor or doctor will be able to tell you whatâs behind those little red spots, if youâre wondering what may be the underlying cause.