Does your little one have more acne than a teenager who recently hit puberty? Well don’t worry, it’s natural. About 20% of newborns have a type of acne called neonatal acne. You’ll usually see it at about 2 weeks of age. However, it can develop any time before 6 weeks of age. Sometimes, a baby is born with acne.
Neonatal acne is generally nothing to worry about. It rarely causes a scar and tends to go away on its own in a few weeks to months. You’ll see breakouts on your infant’s cheeks and nose. Although it’s not limited to that and can also appear on forehead, chin, scalp, neck, back or chest.
Even though baby acne is one of the most common skin conditions that develop in newborns and infants, watching these little bumps flare up can be a stressful time for a parent. We are here to help deal with it.
While baby acne is a very common phenomenon among newborns, doctors aren’t 100-percent sure what causes it. There are, however, several plausible theories about where baby acne comes from. For example, as with adolescent acne, hormones are believed to be mainly to blame. In the case of newborns, however, it’s 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.
Although baby acne usually disappears on it’s own within several weeks, no one recommends medical care or treatment. It is a concern when it stays for more than 6 weeks. 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. It’s possible for acne to continue through the teen years.
It would be your baby’s doctor who might suggest a medicated cream or any other treatment if the acne lingers on for a while. Trust the doctor and the process. Do not try any other medications or go against your doctor’s word. Some of these products may be damaging to a baby’s delicate skin so you have to be very careful about that.
You should always consult a doctor before using any of these remedies, although we are here to just help. These tips are useful for caring for your baby’s skin while he or she has acne:
- You should keep your baby’s face clean. You should wash it daily with lukewarm water and products which have mild ingredients.
- Very gently dry your baby’s face. A simple pat will do.
- Never pinch or pick on any acne. As adult acne, it can cause irritation or even worse, an infection.
If any of this doesn’t work, you should consult a doctor. This will help you get a better idea of what the situation is like:
- You can eliminate everything else and make sure it’s acne.
It’s 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.
It is safe to know that there is nothing going on inside your child’s 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.
You can also discover if a skin care product is causing the acne.
Some babies get acne from an ointment or oil that’s found in products used on their skin. They might be allergic to any particular products.
Prevent permanent acne scars.
While newborn acne rarely causes a scar, infantile acne can cause permanent acne scars. A dermatologist can help prevent scarring.
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. We are here to guide you through a few simple steps that can be followed.
- 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?
- Is there anything which can prevent this from happening?
As a parent who is always concerned, it is more than obvious to be worried and overwhelmed by even a slightest sight of acne on your baby’s delicate soft skin. What you do have to remember is that you have to deal with this acne by using a tender and a loving approach.
Each day, remember to gently wash your baby’s face with mild baby soap and water and then gently pat it dry. Always avoid anything that might irritate your little one’s delicate skin — including harsh skin care products, clothing, food, or other things in their environment. And try your very best to have patience with your baby’s acne. Follow the tips in this article, and remember that the acne likely doesn’t bother your little one in the least, so try not to let it bother you, either! You can’t take everything so seriously, you have to learn to go with the flow.
Learn to accept flaws!