Sunday, March 19, 2023

Why Do Babies Get Baby Acne

Try A Scent And Color Free Detergent


The best way to treat baby acne is to prevent it from developing. Sometimes the harsh chemicals and additives found in our detergents can remain in clothes and bedding. If your baby already has sensitive skin, it could cause, or worsen, the acne.

Avoid using these products and, instead, opt for scent and color free detergent. These are natural and much milder for your babys skin.

Breast Milk For Baby Acne: The Miracle Treatment

Sep 21, 2021 | Acne Treatments, Pregnancy Acne

My baby was born recently, and I am currently nursing. Being the skincare fanatic that I am, Im interested in the anti-microbial qualities of breast milk and how it could work on acne. Ive heard breast milk for baby acne is supposed to be a miraculous treatment for lots of things: eye infections, cradle cap, even adult acne. etc. So, how can breast milk help baby acne?

Read to learn why and how to make it work on your babys skin or even yours.

Lets Check A Few Causes To Understand Baby Acne:

You may think why do babies get baby acne at such a tender age?

Well, acne can be present at birth, but usually, it shows up after a couple of months. In the final weeks of pregnancy, a mother transfers her hormones to the baby. Thus, the oil glands in the body of the baby are stimulated and it results in baby acne. This type of acne affects at least 40% of babies overall.

The other causes are inflammation of the skin due to overgrowth of Fungus and medication taken by the mother during pregnancy. Babies do have sensitive skin, which can be another reason for it.

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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.

What If The Baby Has Acne After 6 Weeks Of Age

Why Do Babies Get Acne? A Pediatrician Explains

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.

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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:

  • Skin blisters

Why Babies Get Acne And What To Do About It

Contrary to popular belief, acne doesnt always start with puberty! It can start from the first few weeks after birth, known as baby acne or cradle cap. Luckily, typical cases of baby acne fade away in time without leaving scarring. But because baby skin is more delicate and sensitive than adult or teenage skin, even mild cases of acne can be irritating.

Additionally, baby skin is easily aggravated by external and environmental factors, from saliva to atmospheric pollution to changing temperaturesnot to mention everything that touches their face while theyre exploring the world. But thats actually not why babies get acne .

Read Also: How To Clear Up Adult Acne

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.

Keep Irritants Away From Your Babys Skin

How to Get Rid of Baby Acne Fast

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.

Read Also: How Do I Know What Type Of Acne I Have

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.

Time Frame And Treatment For Baby Acne:

The other questions, which worries most of the parents are, how long does baby acne last and what they can do about it?

This type of acne does not really bother the baby. Hence the specialists generally do not prescribe medication for the same. There is nothing much you can do about it. You just need to wait patiently for the level of the mothers hormone in the babys body to subside. The acne will go on its own in some time. Dont pick or squeeze the acne of your baby. Also, dont use soap or any baby lotion of affected areas.

Paediatrics suggests a time frame of 6 weeks for the same. If you would still like to do something about it, then opt for natural remedies only. Clean the affected area 2-3 times a day with lukewarm water and pat it try.

Never try any adult acne treatment on a baby and avoid rubbing the skin of the affected area. Dont ever stop breastfeeding thinking that it might cure the acne.

Read Also: Where Does Hormonal Acne Occur

Try The Breast Milk Remedy

There is no research to back up these claims, but many moms swear by the power of breast milk to clear up babys acne. Breast milk has high antimicrobial properties that can help keep your baby healthy. Those same antimicrobial properties can, theoretically, do just as much good when applied topically as they do when ingested.

Using a finger, just dab a small amount of breast milk on your babys inflamed skin several times a day. A great time to try this is during feeding periods when your baby is happy and content.

What Helps Baby Acne

Why Do Babies Get Baby Acne?

Baby acne typically resolves itself without any specific home-care or professional medical care. However, you can gently cleanse and pat-dry the area two or three times a day. Do not use acne medicine, soap, lotion or any other chemicals. Also, just as is the case with adult acne, no squeezing or picking!

Can I be sure its baby acne? Or is it something else?

Of course, not all raised or pimply-looking skin conditions are baby acne. Infants may develop similar signs of irritation as a result of milia, heat rash, diaper rash, infant eczema or cradle cap. If youre concerned that skin irritation could be something more than baby acne, talk to your Nashville pediatrician at St. Thomas Medical Group.

Whats the difference between milia and baby acne?

Milia are similar to baby acne, but completely unrelated. These bumps are typically present at birth, while baby acne typically develops several weeks later. These white bumps occur when small flakes of skin become trapped in pockets just beneath the surface of the skin. Nearly half of all babies have milia on the upper cheeks, chin or nose. These little bumps are neither painful nor contagious and will resolve on their own in just a couple of weeks. No special washing, scrubbing or treatment is necessary.

Baby acne is usually more upsetting to new parents than to the baby. Both of these conditions just require a little time and patience! In a few weeks your baby will develop a smooth, clear complexion!

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Are There Other Conditions Which Might Resemble Baby Acne

Yes, there are some other skin conditions and rashes that might be mistaken for newborn acne. And naturally, parents may worry that there is an underlying cause for a rash. Here are a few to look out for:

  • Milia these are white spots under the skin, caused by skin cells blocking pores. They usually disappear within the first few weeks.

  • Erythema toxicum neonatorum this is a red, blotchy rash on the face and body that usually clears up by itself and needs no further treatment.

  • Heat rash caused when your little one is too warm.

  • Nappy rash this is almost always restricted to beneath the nappy area.

  • Cradle cap this is usually a flaky condition of the scalp.

  • Eczema this is a condition of the skin that makes it dry and itchy. Speak to your health visitor or GP about ways to calm eczema.

  • Rashes there are several types of rash that your baby may have that are due to other health conditions, allergies and sensitivities. If you are at all in doubt or suspect that your baby might have a health condition that needs attention, always speak to your GP.

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.

Recommended Reading: How To Clear Up Nose Acne

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.

Keep Your Babys Face Clean

How to get rid of Baby Acne in under 3 days

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.

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Infantile Acne Starts Later After Six Weeks Of Age

Infantile acne is less common than newborn acne, affecting an estimated 2% of infants. It develops after the neonate period, usually between three and six months of age.

Unlike newborn acne, infantile acne features whiteheads, blackheads, or reddish pimples. If the acne is mild, you can expect it to resolve itself in one to two years with no treatment.

However, if the acne is more severe your infant may need medical treatment. If medication is needed, a doctor might prescribe a medicated cream or gel, that contains benzoyl peroxide to apply on the skin. Or an oral antibiotic, like erythromycin, might be used to manage the acne and prevent scarring.

Although it’s not dangerous to your baby’s immediate physical health, “occasionally, infantile acne may present with cysts which may lead to long term scarring if left untreated,” Gagin says. Moreover, multiple studies report that babies who experience infantile acne have a higher risk of developing severe acne later in life, like during adolescence.

What Does The Rash Of Erythema Toxicum Neonatorum Look Like

The rash of ETN generally looks like red blotches, mainly affecting the face and body . It does occur on the arms and legs too .

Little, raised spots called papules are common. Sometimes there will be little pus-filled spots or fluid-filled small blisters . There may be many spots or very few. The different spots vary in size. The spots blanch with light pressure. This means that they become pale and fade when pressed. The rash can be temporary and sometimes individual spots can disappear within hours while new ones will appear somewhere else.

The baby appears well and the rash does not seem to cause any bother.

Note: if there is any doubt as to the cause of a skin rash in any baby or child, it is essential that you seek medical advice and a firm diagnosis. This is especially important if your baby seems unwell in any way. For example, if your baby has a temperature , is not feeding, is lacking in energy or is inconsolable and not the same as normal. Other rashes can occur in babies and may be the sign of serious illness.

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