Baby Acne


Last Updated December 20th, 2021

Understanding Baby Acne

Is your newborn’s facial skin breaking into pimples? Pimples or acne often thought to be a lot of adolescents, can also affect infants. Baby acne, a skin condition that occurs in newbornsshows up as white bumps or pimples that appearson the face or body. Baby Acne is more common in males than female newborns. Usually, this condition is no cause to worry and subsides on its own.

Also called neonatal acne or milk rash, this condition becomes more visible if the baby becomes fussy and cries for a long time. During such occasions, the acne could appear on the baby’s cheek, nose, eyelids, forehead and sometimes the neck, back and chest. White pustules may form around the bumps. The good news is it clears without any scars. Baby acne typically occurs anywhere from 2 to 4 weeks after the baby is born.

Causes of Baby Acne

A few well-known causes of baby acne are

  • Hormones: Mother’s hormones are passed to the baby through the placenta and continue to circulate in the baby’s bloodstream after the birth of the child. These hormones that give rise to acne stimulate oil-producing glands in the It usually subsides after the hormones level fall.
  • Underdeveloped pores: The pores in the baby’s skin are under-developed causing the dirt to enter and cause pimples.
  • Sensitive skin: Tender and sensitive skin of the babies makes them vulnerable to acne.
  • Androgen hormones: A surge of androgen hormones can also trigger acne.
  • Medications: Certain medications taken by the mother can trigger acne in the baby as it is conveyed through breast milk.

Symptoms of Baby Acne

 Symptoms of baby acne can manifest in the following ways

  • The pimples on the face or body can look the same color as the baby or can be pink, red or yellowish.
  • Whiteheads might form around the bumps.
  • Acne occurs between 2 to 4 weeks after the baby is born.
  • Acne can manifest on the cheek, forehead, chin and sometimes on the body too.

Types of Baby Acne

There are two types of baby acne- Infantile acne and baby acne.

Infantile acne: This type of skin condition occurs after the baby is two months old. Open comedones or blackheads appear on the skin. It may also form cysts or nodules that cansometimes leave scars. Infantile acne is not as common as baby acne and can last until the child is 2 years old.

Baby acne: It occurs 2 weeks or so after birth and usually does not require any treatment. The pimples appear on the cheeks, forehead, and sometimes on the body. It does not leave any scars.

Diagnosing Baby Acne

Medical specialists evaluate the following symptoms before making a diagnosis.

  • Any pimples appearing on the baby’s face or body at two to four weeks after birthis diagnosed as baby acne.
  • Pimples that look like white bumps and are not scaly or flaky.

Doctors ask for an x-ray and blood test for acne that begins after 6 weeks of birth or if the condition persists and does not resolve naturally. This is to rule out any other health-related problems.

Complications of Baby Acne

  • Baby acne resolves on its own and does not pose any problem so long as they are left to heal by themselves.
  • Strong detergents present in babies’ clothes can cause acne to become worse.
  • Some over the counter medicine can lead to complications.
  • If the bumps get infected with pus immediately contact the doctor.
  • When acne starts after 6 weeks of birth, it could be indicative of underlying health issues.

Treatment for Baby Acne

Since baby acne occurs in about 20 percent of infants, it is very common. It is better to wait for it to heal naturally.  However, employ certain simple steps to quicken the healing process.

  • Use a soft cloth to wipe the baby as rough ones irritate the skin.
  • Wash the baby’s face with mild soap and lukewarm water. Hot water tends to irritate
  • Avoid using oils and creams until the acne heals completely.
  • Breastfeeding helps in overcoming any hormonal issues. Breast milk is abundant with all the goodness babies require. It helps build immunity.
  • Clean the face 2 to 3 times daily and gently pat dry.
  • Dabbing breast milk on the cheeks also helps.

Consulting a pediatric dermatologist can help differentiate baby acne from other types of rashes.

Home Remedies for Baby Acne

Home remedies may prove beneficial for baby acne due to sensitive skin.

  • Sandalwood paste is known for its cooling and anti-inflammatory properties. Apply this paste on baby’s face and body. Use mustard oil along with sandalwood paste for better effects.
  • Honey and lemon cleanses and nourishes the skin and works best in treating any rashes especially baby acne. Mix them in equal quantities to apply on the rash and leave it for at least 25 minutes. Rinse with Luke warm water.
  • Extra virgin coconut oil is best suited as it soothes and moisturizes the baby skin. It is completely natural and best for all types of rashes.
  • Organic detergents are best for baby’s clothes. When you use normal detergents, the chemical substances in it can remain in the fabric and worsen acne.
  • Cornstarch dries the skin naturally and heals acne in no time. This is easily available in our own kitchen and in any nearby grocery store.
  • Diet has a direct impact on a baby’s Therefore, it is very important for breastfeeding women to avoid oily foods, dairy products, sweet or very sour food.
  • Oatmeal is an effective cure for acne, but avoid using it beneath the eyes. It is safe to apply on the arms and legs. Make a fine powder out of oatmeal and put this in a baby bathtub of lukewarm water. Allow your baby to soak in this water for about 8 to10 minutes. Avoid scrubbing. Use a soft cloth to gently pat dry. Do not apply on the face as it can cause eye irritation.
  • Talcum powder has a great cooling effect. Talcum powder helps treat baby acne and diaper rashes. Make sure to check the label to confirm if the drying agent is the talc or cornstarch. Sprinkle a little bit on the palms and gently apply on affected areas. Inhaling the powder can be harmful to the baby.
  • Breast milk as always is the best remedy for all kinds of health issues concerning the baby. It builds immunity and resistance. Soak a cotton ball in the breast milk and dab on the acne for faster healing.
  • Vinegar has the properties to kill the bacteria. It wipes out unwanted oil and dirt from the baby’s skin. Since it is concentrated, dilute it with water to apply on the acne. Always check if the baby is allergic to vinegar before application.

How to Differentiate Between Baby Acne and other Rashes

Baby acne can easily be mistaken for other types of rashes such as infantile acne, eczema, heat rash, cradle cap, and milia. It is important to understand the difference between these rashes to take the necessary steps to deal with the skin condition.

  • Eczema appears mainly on elbows and knees, but it can show up on other parts of the body as well. The skin is usually dry and flaky. Such patches appear on the cheek and scalp. Unlike baby acne, the skin is very dry, itchy and irritable in the case of eczema.
  • Infantile acne occurs after 6 months and lasts longer until the child is 2 years old. However, this is not as common as baby acne.
  • Heat rash appears on the upper chest, arms and diaper area. Baby is very uncomfortable with this form of a rash.
  • Cradle cap rashes are smaller than acne and look red in color. They are flaky and occur on the head, eyebrows and upper body.
  • Chickenpox is a contagious skin disease. Fever sometimes accompanies these rashes. It starts on the stomach and spreads to the whole body. Baby acne does not occur below the upper chest or back. There is no medication for chicken pox as it takes its own course and subsides eventually.
  • Milia are tiny white bumps on the skin, which look like pustules without inflammation. Thesetiny cysts occur when oilis trapped under the skin.
  • Seborrhoea is a skin condition that occurs in babies. Small bumps and yellow crusty flakes or scales appear on the scalp, eyebrows or the eyelashes. At times, you will notice these rashes on the neck and shoulders as well. This condition normally resolves on its own. If it persists, you can consult a pediatrician or
  • Bright red chapped cheek/chin is due to baby’s teething and drooling. Moisturizing the affected area helps clear this condition.

Common Myths about Baby Acne

Busting the myths surrounding baby acne helps mothers understand and deal with it better.

Myth 1- Baby acne is due to poor hygiene

Baby acne is caused due to hormones released by the mother during pregnancy. Absorbed through placenta these hormones stimulate the oil glands and cause acne in babies. However, the symptoms may aggravate with detergents present in baby’s clothes. Therefore, it is important to use mild soaps.

Myth 2 -Baby acne is a serious condition that needs treatment

Baby acne is harmless and does not require any treatment. It resolves on its own. Further, it is better to avoid applying oils and creams on the rash as it may aggravate.

Myth 3-Baby acne is similar to infantile acne and teenage acne

Baby acne appears between 2 to 4 weeks of age and goes away without any treatment. Infantile acne appears after 3 months of age and stays longer almost in certain cases until 2 years of age. Teenage acne is no way connected to baby acne.

Myth 4-Baby acne can occur anytime during childhood

Baby acne appears in the early stages after birth, from two to 4 weeks of age and sometimes right from birth itself.

Prevention of Baby Acne

Few simple measures will help prevent acne in babies

  • In summer, keep baby skin dry and use soft cotton clothes. In winter, keep the skin moist and cover with warm clothes.
  • To avoid acne, wash baby’s face at least two to three times with mild soap.

 

Dos and Don'ts

Dos
  • Clean the face with mild soap and lukewarm water.
  • Use mild detergents to wash the baby’s
  • Remember to clean the baby’s cheeks with a soft cloth after every feed.
  • Inform the pediatrician immediately if acne is severe and persistent.
  • While baby acne leaves no scars, infantile acne causes scars. Consulting a pediatric dermatologist helps.
  • Clean the saliva or vomit on the cheeks of the baby from time to time.
Don'ts
  • Do not use any acne medicine unless prescribed by a pediatrician or a dermatologist.
  • Avoid covering the baby with too many layers of clothes. It traps the sweat and causes a rash on the baby’s skin.
  • Avoid using oils and creams as it can aggravate pimples.
  • Avoid rough-textured They cause discomfort and irritate the skin.
  • Baby’s complexion will return to normal once acne subsides. Using any kind of scrub or poking them may cause permanent scarring.
  • Avoid using perfume of any kind.

 

 

 

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HSV-1_IGG
Herpes Simplex Virus I (HSV)-IgG Test Herpes simplex virus I(HSV)-IgG is an Immunoglobulin protein that acts as an antibody & stays in the blood…
Goji berry: A traditional Chinese berry that packs the best of antioxidants Goji berry is an ancient berry that is considered to be power-packed with nutrients and antioxidants. Which means…
sleep deprivation
Don’t let your sleep deficit grow into memory loss or heart attack Why is sleep important for us? How could sleep deprivation harm you? We bet you didn't know about…
labiaplasty
Labiaplasty Labiaplasty is a surgical procedure to modify the labia minora and the labia majora. Learn about who can…
cytomegalovirus igm test
Cytomegalo Virus (CMV) – IgM Test The CMV antibodies include both IgM and IgG antibodies which are the immune system's response to a CMV…
tonometry
Tonometry Tonometry uses a device called tonometer to measure the pressure inside the eye. This pressure is depends upon…
Coconut sugar: What is it and is it healthier than table sugar? In the long list of things that the wonderful coconut gives us, coconut sugar is another remarkable addition.…
black seed oil benefits
Black Seed Oil: What secret benefits could it bestow on your health? Black seeds or nigella seeds are tiny packets of health brimming with amazing benefits. Find out why should…
Aphasia brain scans
Neuroendoscopy Neuroendoscopy is a minimally-invasive surgery used to treat disorders of brain, spine, head, etc.
GGt test
GGT – Gamma-Glutamyl Transferase Test GGT or gammaglutamyl transferase test is a liver function test that is used to detect the extent of…
shiitake mushrooms healthy
What are Shiitake Mushrooms and why should you eat them? Shiitake Mushrooms are well known for their smoky and robust taste. However, did you know they are replete…
Gynecomastia or male breast enlargement
Gynecomastia Gynecomastia is the enlargement of the male breasts. Learn about the treatment options, surgeries, and post-op care for…
Ear pain model
Easy and safe tips for ear wax removal you can do at home Cerumen impaction generally occurs when an external object like cotton swabs are used to remove the ear wax.…
The science behind daith piercing: Can it really cure migraine? Since the ear has several pressure points, it is believed that daith piercing activates the vagus nerve and…
breast-surgery-2
Breast Augmentation Breast augmentation is a surgical procedure done to alter the shape and size of the breast. It uses…
Low carb diet
8 appetizing and mouth-watering recipes that every low-carb dieter should try Looking for delicious recipes that will fix your hunger pang without adding those pesky carbs? Look no further…
Threatened abortion
A few facts about threatened abortion A threatened miscarriage indicates an early pregnancy loss. Look out for symptoms like bleeding, vaginal discharge, and pain.
Exercises or diet? Find out the healthiest way to gain weight Tired of being called skinny all the time? Looking for healthy ways to beef up? Why not try…
Sputum test Sputum test is a commonly used diagnostic tool that is used to examine the presence of pathogens in…
Urologist: When should you visit one and why? A urologist can treat not only genitourinary problems of both men and women but also can treat various…
stress depressed anxiety
Are you depressed or just stressed? Know when to see a doctor Why are some people more anxious than others? Is being depressed the same as feeling sad? Have you…
CBC blood test
CBC (Hemogram 6-part diff) blood test CBC (Hemogram 6-part diff) blood test refers to the test that measures the number of RBCs, WBCs, etc…
stain blood
Blood in your stool Know the reason for blood in your stool, toilet bowl or tissue and the important steps to take…
post circumcision
Circumcision Check to know everything about open , laser, stapler circumcision, and about preparation, procedure, risks, benefits , and…
Is bronchitis contagious? And how to prevent this infection? It is acute bronchitis that is contagious which means you can contract it from another person or you…
hYdroxycut pills
Hydroxycut: How safe are these so-called weight loss supplements? Hydroxycut is a blend of several different ingredients formulated to promote weight loss; powered by a key weight…
Grass-fed meat
Facts about grass-fed meat Grass-fed meat has a rich source of vitamins, minerals, and are low in fat and cholesterol. They are…
blood elements analysis
Blood Element Analysis Test A blood element analysis is a blood test performed to measure the level of toxic elements such as…
gallbladder diet tomato
Gallbladder surgery :Tips on post-operative care and diet What to eat post a gallbladder surgery? What are the key things to avoid if you had a…
Vitamin b12
Vitamin B12 Test Vitamin b12 is an essential nutrient required for healthy functioning of the nervous system and also development of…
Gatorade: Top things you need to know about this staple energy drink Gatorade is a popular (in fact the most popular) energy drink worldwide. But this power-packed drinks comes with…
blood ketone test
Blood Ketone (D3HB) Test The Blood Ketone Test measures and monitors the levels of ketone in the blood which is usually performed…
Astaxanthin: Why experts believe it could be 550x more potent than vitamin E! What is astaxanthin and why is this new supplement on the block touted as the most powerful antioxidant…
amylase test
Amylase Test Amylase test is done by checking the level of this protein in the blood sample and also in…
complement c4 test
Complement 4 (C4) Test The Complement 4 or C4 test measures the level of the protein in the bloodstream, and is primarily…
ureteroscopy
Ureteroscopy Ureteroscopy is the diagnostic procedure which is used for the detection of the kidney stones in addition to…
Barium-enema
Barium Enema Barium enema is also known as colon x-ray. Here, the patient is asked to consume small amount of…
Ca 19.9 test
CA19.9 Test CA 19.9 is a cancer antigen that exists on the surface of cancer-causing cells. The levels of CA…
piles
Best treatment for piles in Bangalore All you need to know about piles and piles treatment in Bangalore - the types of treatment available,…
Shilajit: A miracle Himalayan herb for an active and happy life The Himalayas contain more wonders than you thought. Shilajit is a miracle herb that is widely used in…
Tamarind: The top health benefits of this staple Asian ingredient Did you know this sweet and sour pulpy fruit does more than just add a tangy flavor to…
Cordyceps: How the Caterpillar fungus works as a proven cancer-shield Strange as it may sound, but cordyceps or "caterpillar fungus", a fungus variety native to the Himalayas may…
Paleo snack
Paleo snacks Paleo snacks are healthy diet options that emphasize fresh foods and eliminate processed foods, dairy products, and sugar.
edamame
Edamame: How healthy are these green baby beans? Edamame or "immature" soybeans are soft and easily digestable forms of soybeans that are great as an eveyday…
Low fat diets
A complete list of low-fat diets and how to follow them Low-fat diets help you lose weight in a healthy way, but it works only with regular exercise and…
CEA_test
Carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) test CEA or carcinoembryonic test detects the presence of CEA antigen in your blood mainly & determines the effectiveness…
vdrl test syphilis
VDRL Test The VDRL test is a blood test that is used to diagnose sexually transmitted or venereal diseases, primarily…
Pelvic_ultrasound
Pelvic Ultrasound Pelvic ultrasound is a process where sound waves are used to create image of your pelvic region organs…
about mediterranean diet
Why you should be adopting a Mediterranean style of diet today Ever wondered why the Mediterranean diet is so healthy? One simple solution to lowering risk of several deadliest…
How can Kegels help you overcome weak pelvic muscles & incontinence? Kegel exercises are pelvic floor strengthening exercises that can help you overcome incontinence issues that rise out of…
avocado benefits
Avocado: 15 reasons why this fruit should be a staple in your diet Did you know that the word avocado literally means "testicles". Don't get grossed out as this power-packed fruit…
malarial antigen test
Malaria Antigen Test A malaria antigen test is a rapid diagnostic test (RDT) that can detect malarial antigens (proteins) in your…
Is it possible to achieve full body detox with Master Cleanse? Master cleanse is a diet consisting of a lemonade based beverage, a salt water drink and a herbal…
Sushi: health benefits and recipes Sushi is a traditional Japanese dish prepared with vinegared rice served with fish (often raw), vegetables, and other…
botox injection
Botox: Top things you should know before undergoing the procedure Botox is technically a toxic compound that is widely used in cosmetic procedure. But in addition to wrinkle-reduction,…
antiHEV IgM test
Anti hepatitis E virus (Anti HEV) IgM Test Anti HEV IgM test determines the level of the IgM antibodies in the blood, The disease is often…
free thyroxine ft4
Free thyroxine test (FT4) The FT4 or free thyroxine test is used to detect the level of free thyroxine of FT4 thyroid…
How to scrub away stress and fatigue with an Epsom salt bath? Epsom salt is a popular home remedy for many skin ailments. Though there is a lack of scientific…

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