Baby acne: Causes and treatment

Your baby deserves nothing but the best. And we all, as parents, take utmost care that our little one is not bothered by even the slightest of troubles. But at times, rashes, allergies, and other skin-related issues irritate them and make us concerned. Baby acne is one such thing that can make you restless if they appear on the skin of your baby. In this article, we will understand what is baby acne, what causes and why do babies get baby acne, and baby acne treatment. 

What Is Baby Acne? 

Baby acne is a very common skin condition that occurs in more than 20% of babies and can last until the age of 2 at times. Also known as neonatal acne, baby acne is not the kind of acne that adults experience. Newborn acne is temporary red bumps or pimples that occur on the face or body of your baby. Newborn acne on face is more common and can happen to almost 30% of babies in the first few months. 

There are two stages of baby acne – Neonatal Acne and Infantile Acne. The acne that appears in the first few weeks but goes away by six weeks is known as neonatal acne, while acne that develops a little later and lasts upto usually six months, or in some cases even up to 2 years, are called infantile acne.

What causes baby acne?

  • While still in your womb, your baby might come into contact with hormones. This can result in the oil glands in your baby’s skin overstimulating and result in acne. 
  • Yeast infection can cause inflammation of the skin resulting in acne. 
  • Babies have sensitive skin, thus using a harsh product on their skin can also result in skin rashes and baby acne. 

What are the symptoms of baby acne? 

  • Red spots and baby acne on face is the most common symptom of acne in kids. 
    • Sometimes, red bumps on babies even appear on the neck, back and shoulders. 
    • They look just like pimples and acne that adolescents have but are smaller and filled with white pustules at times.

    What Does Baby Acne Look Like

    symptoms of baby acne

    Baby acne or baby pimples look like tiny red bumps on baby face, as shown in the image above. Sometimes they also appear on the neck and shoulders of your baby. But unlike the acne that teens and grown-ups have, baby acne does not result in blackhead or whitehead. 

    How is baby acne treated? 

    • In most cases, baby acne would disappear on its own without any treatment.
    • But in case your baby’s acne is stubborn and does not go away within a few weeks on its own, talk to your baby’s paediatrician and get a topically applicable ointment that will help reduce and eliminate them. 
    • Do not use any over-the-counter medication that has not been prescribed to you by the doctor who knows your baby’s medical history and has physically seen the skin issue your baby is facing.   

    Meanwhile, here are some tips to keep your baby’s skin healthy

      1. Keep your baby’s face clean – Babies do not need soap or face wash to keep their face clean. Instead, use a soft and damp mulmul or cotton cloth to wipe their face after meals to keep it clean. 
  • Avoid harsh products – If you intend to use a body wash, face cream, or moisturizer for your baby, make sure you choose zero toxins, fragrance-free and mild product recommended by their doctor. 
    1. Skip the lotions – Avoid applying body lotion to your baby. It can aggravate the acne and make it worse. 
    2. Don’t scrub – Scrubbing the skin where acne is present with a towel or a bath loofah, no matter how soft, can irritate the skin and cause redness and pain for your little baby. 
    3. Don’t squeeze – Avoid squeezing or pinching the acne. This can be painful for your baby and even worsen the acne. 

    When Should You See A Doctor? 

    Baby acne is not a serious issue and usually goes away on its own. But if you experience any of the following, you should see a medical practitioner. 

    • If your baby’s acne has blackheads or is filled with pustules.
    • If the acne is inflamed and the baby is crying in pain. 
    • The acne is accompanied by fever and vomiting. 
    • If there is a blister or the acne-affected skin is peeling.
    • If your baby is not feeding well.

    The bottom line is, you know your baby the best, and if a particular skin condition looks harmless but your baby is irritated, in pain, or acting unusual, it is time to see a doctor.

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