Many parents are alarmed over the red, acne-like rash on their newborn baby’s face. But baby acne is a common and harmless condition. It tends to appear within the first month or so after birth, although it can occur earlier or later. Some babies even make their appearance on their birth day with an already established case of acne. Luckily, baby acne is fleeting, and nearly always goes away quickly and without treatment.
What Causes Newborn Baby Acne:
What exactly causes the appearance of acne during infancy is not very clear. Generally, the condition is considered to be triggered by the over secretion of sebum or oil, which eventually clogs the skin pores. The sebaceous glands of the babies are usually stimulated by the maternal hormones present in their body. Usually, the baby gets exposed to maternal hormones during the last months of pregnancy, or during breastfeeding.
These maternal hormones stimulate the sebaceous glands to produce excess sebum, which clogs the skin pores. The baby’s skin pores are not fully developed, for which they get blocked easily. The acne or pimples continue to appear, until the hormones are cleansed from the baby’s system. In addition to maternal hormones, another common cause of newborn acne can be intake of certain medications during nursing.
Typical Newborn Acne Patterns in Babies:
- Usually it sets in at about three weeks old. However, in some cases it may manifest right after birth.
- Baby boys are more prone to newborn acne than baby girls.
- The most common types of newborn acne in babies are the pustules and papules. Pustules (whiteheads) are tiny bumps on the skin with pus collection inside. Papules are tiny solid red rounded bumps rising on the skin, which is very similar to that of a red pimple.
What are the Treatments for Newborn Acne?
Almost all babies get newborn acne around their faces, including their cheeks, and oftentimes on their scalps. Most newborn acnes will disappear spontaneously by itself in about a month or so, therefore most babies will not require treatment to cure their newborn acne at all.
It will greatly help if mothers can gently clean their baby’s face once every day with a mild baby soap and lukewarm water. It is also important to know that using lotions or oils on a baby’s skin will not help, and will just further irritate the skin. Remember, newborn acne naturally disappears through time without any help, just a normal cleansing regimen will do.
Sometimes if babies get severe newborn acne, a doctor may prescribe a treatment with topical antifungals or creams such as retinoids, or, benzoyl peroxide. Do not under any circumstances apply any creams without a doctor’s recommendation, because sometimes the best intentions are not met with the best results.