Keep Your Babys Face Clean
Wash your babys face daily with warm water. Bath time is a great time to do this. You dont even need to use anything but water, but if you want to, look for a mild soap or soap-free cleanser. Dont hesitate to ask the pediatrician for recommendations.
Fragrance-free products are least likely to irritate your babys skin.
How Is Infantile Acne Treated
Although most cases of infantile acne resolve over time, it might be necessary for your doctor to prescribe medication.
Products containing benzoyl peroxide or topical retinoids are often prescribed for mild to moderate cases of infantile acne. Theyre usually applied directly to your baby’s skin.
Antibiotics are prescribed for mild acne that is inflammatory. The antibiotics come in the form of cream, and its applied to the skin. Antibiotics are used to treat severe acne too, but these are usually taken by mouth. Multiple medications may be prescribed at once.
Can You Naturally Treat Baby Acne
Baby acne usually does not require treatment as it often goes away on its own. However, you can try to improve your babys acne by bathing them and avoiding putting lotion on their face. It is not recommended to use any over the counter acne treatments on a baby, given that their skin is very sensitive and these products typically contain harsh chemicals. Some moms have even treated baby acne by applying breastmilk to their babys skin since it acts as a natural anti-microbial.
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Mustela Baby Cleansing Water
Why its great: This micellar cleansing water is made from 98% natural ingredients and is an effective solution to baby acne. To use this cleansing water, simply apply it to your babys skin using a cotton ball and thats it. This cleansing water is ideal for quick clean-ups and washing off in between baths. Often, keeping babys skin clean is a great way to help with baby acne so having something like this on hand to quickly wash off your babys skin in between baths is a great idea.
Keep in mind: This cleansing water is not intended to be used as a bath soap.
Good for: Use between baths as a quick cleanser.
Caring For The Umbilical Cord
Water is all you need to clean it. Do not pull on the stump even when it starts to come off. It will fall off on its own. Prevent the babys diaper from rubbing the area by folding it over.
Contact your doctor if your baby has a fever or if the umbilical area:
appears red and swollen
oozes yellow pus
produces a foul-smelling discharge or
bleeds. A small amount of bleeding is normal, and you may find a few spots of blood on the babys undershirt or sleeper.
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Whats The Difference Between Baby Acne And Eczema
Eczema is different from baby acne but may appear similar to the naked eye. Eczema often presents itself as red bumps on your babys face. Pediatricians can tell the difference between baby acne and eczema, so if you have concerns about your babys skin you may want to have their doctor take a look. Eczema is sometimes treated by removing certain food allergens from the home and with mild medications.
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.
Learn The Best Way To Get Rid Of Your Baby’s Acne Using These Simple Safe And Natural Methods
Rare is the adult who survived their teenage years without ever getting a pimple. Most of us have a brush with acne as teenagers, and our culture tends to think of acne as being exclusive to this age group.
This helps explain why it can be so shocking for new parents to discover acne on their infants. One day your baby has soft, clear skin, and the next you might discover their face is covered in tiny, pimply bumpsjust like an adolescent. Because we dont usually think of babies as being prone to acne, these breakouts can throw parents into a panic.
In reality, it is quite commonand for the most part, its entirely harmless. Still, most parents want to help the condition clear up as soon as possible.
Thats why weve put together this guide to getting rid of baby acne. Well walk you through what baby acne is, how long it lasts, what causes it, and the fastest ways to get rid of itas well as a few strategies for preventing baby acne and helping your newborn enjoy healthier skin overall.
Tips For Treating Baby Acne
Baby acne can last anywhere from a few days to a few months. To treat stubborn baby acne, your babys pediatrician may prescribe a medicated cream or ointment that helps clear up the condition.
Dont use over-the-counter acne treatments, face washes, or lotions unless you are sure that they are specifically formulated with your little ones delicate skin in mind using natural, plant-based, and gentle ingredients that are safe.
Your babys skin is very sensitive at this young age. Using just any OTC ointment might make the acne worse or cause additional skin irritation because some of its ingredients may actually be too strong for your babys soft skin.
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How Is Baby Acne Treated
Baby acne usually disappears without treatment.
Some babies have acne that lingers for months instead of weeks. To treat this stubborn form of baby acne, your babys pediatrician may prescribe a medicated cream or ointment that helps clear up the acne.
Dont use OTC acne treatments, face washes, or lotions. Your babys skin is very sensitive at this young age. You might make the acne worse or cause additional skin irritation by using something thats too strong.
How To Differentiate Baby Acne From Eczema
Infantile acne is different from eczema, which is why it’s important to take your baby to a doctor if they develop redness after 6 weeks of age. That way a pediatrician can rule out any other skin or medical conditions.
One key difference between eczema and infantile acne is that eczema will not have any pustules. Instead, eczema will look like rough areas of dry, scaly, or inflamed patches of skin.
If your baby does have eczema, the treatment will be different, so it is important to determine the cause of your baby’s acne before getting treatment. “Eczema treatment requires thorough daily moisturizing and sometimes medicated creams which are different from topical medications used for acne,” Gagin says.
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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
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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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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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.
FDA Acknowledges Qualified Health Claim Linking Early Peanut Introduction and Reduced Risk of Developing Peanut Allergy in 2017:
For most infants with severe eczema and/or egg allergy who are already eating solid foods, introducing foods containing ground peanuts between 4 and 10 months of age and continuing consumption may reduce the risk of developing peanut allergy by 5 years of age. FDA has determined, however, that the evidence supporting this claim is limited to one study.
If your infant has severe eczema and/or egg allergy, check with your infants healthcare provider before feeding foods containing ground peanuts.
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Dont Use Oily Creams Or Lotions
Acne be it baby, adolescent, or adult is caused by clogged pores. Dirt and oil get stuck around a hair follicle and create a plug that irritates surrounding skin. Visually, this is the redness and swelling that are so commonly associated with acne. Because acne is caused by a buildup of oil and dirt, its best to avoid using oily creams and lotions on acne-prone skin.
To keep your babys acne-prone skin as healthy as possible, whether theyre having an outbreak or not, we suggest regularly cleansing the area with Mustelas No Rinse Cleansing Water or Mustelas No Rinse Soothing Cleansing Water for very sensitive skin.
These products contain micellar water, which works to keep your babys skin clean because the micelles in the water are attracted to the dirt and oil that can clog pores. The micelles are thus able to draw out impurities without irritating sensitive skin.
After you cleanse your babys skin, follow up with a sensitive-skin product, like Mustelas Soothing Moisturizing Body Lotion. This daily, light textured baby body lotion is specially designed for newborns with very sensitive, rashy, or reactive skin.
Newborn Baby Acne Treatment
Want to know how to treat newborn baby acne? Well, newborn baby acne usually clears up on its own after a few weeks but there are some things you can do to help it along.
Keep your babys face clean with cooled boiled water or WaterWipes vegan, cruelty-free and sensitive baby wet wipes.
Always gently pat babys skin when drying.
If youre breastfeeding, try softly dabbing breastmilk on the spots. Lots of mums swear by it.
Do not use acne creams intended for older children and adults or harsh products generally.
A final tip for treating newborn acne: Try not to pick or scratch the acne itll disappear when its ready.
If the problem persists or is severe, ask your doctor about prescription or over-the-counter medication that might help.
Interesting fact: Newborn baby acne is also known as neonatal acne.
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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.
Keep Babys Face Clean
Any residue present on your babys face can cause irritation and make the acne worse. Whether its vomit, or simply spit up milk, make sure you wipe it off.
With some lukewarm water and a cotton pad, proceed to wash your babys face gently. You can apply some hypoallergenic soap or a soap-free cleanser which is less irritating to the skin.
Avoid using a coarse washcloth on your babys face.
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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.
What Causes Baby Acne On The Face
If babys acne is just on their face, then the cause is still likely to be the same probably hormones.
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 newborn 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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