Baby Acne

1 What is Baby Acne?

Baby acne is a common newborn rash that appears on an infant's skin.

It is similar to normal acne, and mainly develops on the baby's face; usually on the cheeks, nose and forehead.

In most cases, it is a transient condition, which means that baby acne disappears on its own without leaving any scars.

The reason for its occurrence is not known and there is little one can do to avoid baby acne.

2 Symptoms

Small red or white-colored bumps on a baby's cheeks, nose or forehead are the main symptoms of baby acne.

These bumps may sometimes be present at birth or in most cases, develop within two to four weeks after birth.

Once it appears, it may be there for a few days or weeks, but sometimes, they may remain for many months.

Acne becomes more noticeable when your baby is crying or very fussy. Use of rough fabrics and saliva that remains for too long on the face can irritate the acne.

Acne should be differentiated from another rash called milia, which appears as small white bumps on the nose, cheeks, and chin.

Baby acne resolves on its own without any treatment. It usually clears up completely within 3-4 months.

However, you may consult your baby's doctor if you are worried regarding any aspect of your baby's skin health.

3 Causes

Baby acne is often caused by the baby's exposure to hormones while in the womb.

During an appointment, your baby's doctor will carefully examine the rash.

In some cases, the lesion which was believed to be acne may be an allergic reaction or eczema. In such conditions, your doctor will review methods to find out the allergen.

These regular check-ups offer a good opportunity to discuss concerns regarding your baby's health.

For baby acne, some basic questions you may ask your pediatrician include:

  •   Is my baby's condition a temporary or long lasting one?
  •   What treatments are available?
  •   Do I need to follow any skin care restrictions for my baby?
  •   Will this acne leave any scars on my baby's face?
  •   What to expect from your baby's doctor

  In order to find out the seriousness of your baby's acne, your baby's doctor may ask you for some information that includes:

  •   Do you have a family history of severe acne?
  •   Has your baby taken any medications that can cause acne, such as corticosteroids or iodine-containing drugs?

  Baby acne is usually diagnosed upon visual examination. No specific testing is required.

4 Treatment

As baby acne disappears on its own within few months, no medical treatment is generally recommended.

If your baby's acne remains for a longer time, your baby's doctor may prescribe a medicated cream or other treatment.

Do not try applying over-the-counter medications without consulting your baby's doctor.

Some of these products may prove harmful to a baby's delicate skin.

5 Lifestyle and Coping

There are different ways to adapt your baby lifestyle in coping with baby acne.

Baby acne cannot be avoided, but you can follow these tips that are useful while caring for your baby's acne:

  •    Always keep your baby's face clean, wash your baby's face daily.
  •    Use warm water and mild moisturizing baby soap to gently cleanse your baby' face.
  •    Gently dry your baby's face after washing. Use a soft towel to gently pat your baby's skin.
  •    Do not pinch or scrub the acne as you may cause an infection
  •    Avoid using too much of lotions or oils on your baby's face.
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