Baby Acne Versus Infantile Acne
Baby acne differs from infantile acne. Infantile acne is much less common and can present with open comedones or blackheads, while baby acne does not. Cysts or nodules are also sometimes seen with infantile acne and the condition can result in scarring without treatment. Infantile acne can persist until the baby is two years old.
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.
When Should You See Your Healthcare Provider
If anything about your baby’s complexion seems out of the ordinary, or if you’re concerned that the condition isn’t getting better after three to four months, consult your baby’s healthcare provider. The healthcare provider may a medicated cream or some other treatment. But be sure not to use any over-the-counter creams or medications without consulting your healthcare provider first, as these can damage your baby’s delicate skin.
In addition, contact the healthcare provider if you ever notice any of the following with your baby:
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Acne In Toddlers: When To Call A Doctor
Many people associate acne with adolescence. And the truth is, most teenagers and young adults experience at least one breakout at some point in their lives. But teens arent the only ones who develop acne. Up to 50 million Americans deal with the skin condition every yearand that includes some infants and young children.
If you are worried about your childs skin, read on. In this article, I will explain what toddler acne is, the symptoms and causes, and treatments that may help. Ill also detail what other conditions resemble acne so you can work with your healthcare provider to get to the bottom of your childs problem and clear up their skin.
What Is Newborn Baby Acne And What Does It Look Like
So what is newborn baby acne exactly? Newborn baby acne is a baby skin condition where tiny red or white bumps or pimples appear on a babys skin, typically when theyre between one and four weeks of age although some babies are born with it.
The medical term for baby acne is erythema toxicum neonatorum but that makes it sound more alarming than it is. Its actually a very common condition that affects up to four or five babies in every 10*.
Baby acne should not be confused with infantile acne which begins later or adult acne. It should also not be confused with baby milk spots. If youre unsure, please consult your GP.
The spots first appeared on my sons face when he was about 10 days old and I was convinced it was because I was doing something wrong perhaps washing him too much or even not enough. I also wondered whether he could be allergic to his formula. I shared my worries with the other moms at my parents group, lots of whom were second and third-time parents, and they explained that it was just newborn acne and that lots of their older kids had had it just after birth too. I felt a lot better after that and stopped trying to fix it. After a month it was gone. Its frustrating but you do just have to be patient.
Celine, mother to Ricky, one
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Treatment For Baby Acne
Even though baby acne can look similar to adult acne, you must treat it differently. Keep in mind that infant skin is sensitive, and handling it incorrectly could result in scarring.
Additionally, never try to pop any pimples or squeeze any blackheads. Yes, I know it may be tempting. But, not only can you increase the chance of infection.
So, to all of you pimple-popping mommas, here are a few ways to treat your babys acne.
See A Doctor If Concerned
While baby acne usually resolves on its own, its not unusual for caregivers to seek reassurance from their pediatrician. Extensive baby acne on face and body can be especially worrisome for some caregivers, even if the breakout is brief. If you dont have an upcoming appointment when you can conveniently address it, check in with your pediatricians office to see if they offer telemedicine or an online portal solution that can conveniently get you faster answers.
As always, follow your gut when it comes to babys wellness. Fever, skin inflammation, the presence of pus, or pain upon touching the affected area are all reasons to seek medical attention more quickly. Likewise, persistent baby acne that does not resolve on its own should also be addressed by a doctor who can evaluate if treatment is required.
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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
Do Certain Foods Cause Baby Acne
It has not been scientifically proven that any food consumed by the mother, like fatty or oily food, causes baby acne. Since babies do not eat the food, which adolescents suffering from acne eat, the possibility of acne being caused by an ingested food can be ruled out in the case of babies.
Thus, baby acne does not have a specific cause and can be conveniently described as a spontaneous event. Changes in skin structure due to its constant growth and development could be a reason since baby acne is less prevalent in premature babies whose skin is yet to attain the level of a full-term baby . It is a theory that is not scientifically proven and is just a speculation. As a parent, you need not worry about harmless baby acne, but there can be situations when you must take your little one to the doctor.
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Is Baby Acne Normal
First off, yes! Dont worry. Baby acne is quite common among infants.
Newborns still have many maternal hormones circulating in their system in the first few weeks following birth. These hormones can cause pimples to develop on the face . Its not uncommon to see baby acne on the chest, neck or back, too.
Before you blame yourself, Mom, its worth mentioning that baby acne isnt only caused by maternal hormones. Because the pores in your newborns skin arent completely developed, your baby may be susceptible to developing acne caused by some other external irritant.
Here Are Some Baby Acne Treatments
1. Cleaning the face or the affected area with a gentle soap and water. To avoid any skin infection and irritation, at least clean the babys face twice a day. Never scrub or rub the skin as it can definitely cause skin irritation.
2. Use natural ingredients like a vinegar solution. This will also help treat the affected area.
3. Never put or apply creams or lotions on the face of your baby. This treatment is usually used by teenagers and adults suffering from the skin problem. Unless your doctor prescribes a cream, then thats the time for you to use it.
4. The best treatment for baby acne is to refrain from treating it. Usually baby acne is untreatable. Just wait for the acne to disappear on his own.
Baby acne is not really worse at all. With proper care and prevention, baby acne will never be a problem. Maintain cleanliness with your babys skin and take good care of him all the time to prevent any acne problems to develop.
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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.
So What Can I Do About My Baby’s Acne
There is a benefit to delicate baby skin, which is very thin. Because baby skin pores are not as tightly plugged up as adult pores, we dont need to use harsh ingredients for treatment. Just a gentle soap can lift up the tiny small plugs from the skin to allow oils to flow out, Dr. Joyce advises. Our Baby Shampoo & Body Wash is a gentle coconut-based cleanser that effectively cleanses the skin without stripping it of its natural oils.
One particular ingredient found in moisturizers and cleansers that helps with baby acne is jojoba oil, which nourishes and protects the skin with vitamins A, E, and D while balancing the natural oil production of the skin. It only adds moisture where the skin needs itnothing more, nothing less. This is a rare acne controlling ingredient that is also gentle enough for sensitive baby skin. Pair our Baby Shampoo & Body Wash with our NEW Nourishing Baby Face Cream, which has jojoba oil as its main ingredient. This acne-fighting ingredient helps to treat the acne with anti-inflammatory properties, without stripping the skin of its natural protective oils.
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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.
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!
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Preparing For An Appointment
If you’re following a standard well-baby exam schedule, your baby will likely visit with your family doctor or pediatrician soon. These regular appointments offer a good opportunity to discuss concerns about your baby’s health. For baby acne, some basic questions to ask your doctor include:
- Is my baby’s condition likely temporary or long lasting?
- What treatments are available?
- Do I need to follow any skin care restrictions for my baby?
- Will this acne scar my baby’s face?
How Long Does Newborn Baby Acne Last
Newborn baby acne usually only lasts a few days, and in the vast majority of cases is completely gone within two weeks. Sometimes spots can appear only to disappear a few hours later and sometimes they will stick around for three to four months. Recurrences can happen but are generally very mild.
It sounds awful, I know, but when my baby first developed the acne all I could think once I knew it was nothing to worry about was, Oh no, shes not perfect anymore. What will people say? Of course, nobody said anything. Well, nothing unkind anyway. If I brought it up , they just shared stories of their own childs ailments, from newborn baby eczema to newborn baby cradle cap, and how theyd also been a mix of concerned and embarrassed which actually really helped and made me feel less like a Disney villain.
Sarah, mother to Molly, 1
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Acne Is More Worrisome After 6 Weeks Of Age
When acne develops after 6 weeks of age, its called infantile acne. This type of acne is likely to begin between 3 and 6 months of age.
If your baby develops acne after 6 weeks of age, youll want to see a board-certified dermatologist or pediatric dermatologist. This can be helpful for several reasons. You can:
Make sure its acne.Its less common for acne to begin in a baby after 6 weeks of age, so you want to make sure your child really has acne. Other skin conditions can look like acne. Your child could have a skin infection or eczema.
Rule out something going on inside your childs body.When acne begins after 6 weeks of age, it can be a sign of a health problem. A skin exam and sometimes a blood test or x-ray is needed to rule this out.
Find out if a skin care product is causing the acne.Some babies get acne from an ointment or oil thats found in products used on their skin.
Prevent permanent acne scars.While newborn acne rarely causes a scar, infantile acne can cause permanent acne scars. A dermatologist can help prevent scarring.
While a dermatologist should examine a child who develops acne after 6 weeks of age, this type of acne often clears on its own. Clearing usually takes about 6 months to 1 year. Some children, however, have acne for a longer time. Its possible for acne to continue through the teen years.
Baby skin care
Never apply acne treatment to your baby’s skin unless a dermatologist recommends it.
What Is Baby Acne
When your newborn baby is around 2 to 5 weeks old you may start to see small pimples on his face, usually on his cheeks, nose, eyelids, chin, and/or forehead. Baby acne is also referred to as neonatal acne and is commonâabout 3 in 10 babies get it.Experts are not exactly sure what causes baby acne, but it could be due to one of the following:
An inflammation caused by yeast on your baby’s skin
Overstimulated oil glands in your baby’s skin caused by coming into contact with hormones in the placenta during your pregnancy.
Baby acne has nothing to do with the type of acne that a teenager may experience.
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An Indicator Of Future Skin Problems
Its almost impossible to tell what issues we must deal with in the future. But there are some clues when we are babies.
If your baby has neonatal acne, theres no need to worry. Although your child may still develop acne as they grow up, it isnt due to your pregnancy hormones. There is no connection between baby acne and the acne that teens and adults suffer from.
Infantile acne, on the other hand, can sometimes indicate that acne is also in the cards in the future. Some studies revealed this type could lead to more severe cases of breakouts during adolescent years .
Breast Milk And Baby Acne
A great, natural remedy for treating the appearance of baby acne is breast milk.
Breast milk contains anti-infective and anti-inflammatory properties that are beneficial to your babys skin cells.
To treat baby acne, simply dab some expressed milk on the affected area a few times a day and allow it to air dry.
This can help to reduce the amount and severity of acne.
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What Causes Baby Acne
Believe it or not, as with adolescent acne, hormones are believed to be mainly to blame. In the case of newborns, however, its not their own hormones that are probably prompting the pimple problems, but Mom’s which are still circulating in baby’s bloodstream as a holdover from pregnancy. These maternal hormones stimulate baby’s sluggish oil-producing glands, causing pimples to pop up on the chin, forehead, eyelids and cheeks, and, sometimes, the head, neck, back and upper chest.
What’s more, the pores in a baby’s skin are not yet fully developed, making them easy targets for infiltration by dirt and the blossoming of blemishes. And babies typically have very sensitive skin some more than others which can also be a factor.