Baby acne is acne on a
newborn's skin, usually on the cheeks, chin and forehead. Baby acne
isn't pretty, but it's common — and temporary. There's little you can do
to prevent baby acne. The best treatment is usually none at all.
Baby acne is usually characterized by small red bumps or pustules on a
baby's cheeks, chin and forehead. It often develops within the first
three to four weeks after birth. Baby acne may look worse when your baby
is fussy or crying.
Many babies also develop tiny white bumps on the nose, chin or cheeks. These are known as milia.
When to see a doctor
Consult your baby's doctor if you're concerned about your baby's
complexion, your baby's acne is worsening or it doesn't clear up within
Baby acne is usually caused by hormonal changes that occurred during the
mother's pregnancy. Baby acne is more common in boys. Rarely, baby acne
is a sign of a hormonal problem.
Preparing for your appointment
If you're following a standard well-check 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. Your time with the doctor is limited, so preparing a list
of questions will help you make the most of your time together. For
baby acne, some basic questions to ask your doctor include:
* Is my baby's condition likely temporary or chronic?
* What is the best course of action?
* Are there any restrictions I need to follow?
In addition to the questions that you've prepared to ask your baby's
doctor, don't hesitate to ask questions during your appointment.
What to expect from your baby's doctor
In order to determine the seriousness of your baby's acne, your baby's doctor may ask you:
* Do you have a family history of severe acne?
* Has your baby come into contact with any medications that can
cause acne, such as corticosteroids or iodine-containing drugs?
Tests and diagnosis
Baby acne is easily spotted on a baby's skin. No specific testing is needed.
Treatments and drugs
Because baby acne typically disappears on its own within several weeks,
no medical treatment is usually recommended. In some cases, however,
baby acne lingers for months or even longer. If your baby's acne is
particularly stubborn, your baby's doctor may recommend a medicated
cream or other treatment. Rarely, any underlying conditions may need to
be treated as well.
Lifestyle and home remedies
In the meantime:
* Keep your baby's face clean. Routinely wash your baby's face with
warm water two or three times a day. For babies with acne, use a mild
moisturizing facial soap several times a week and rinse with warm water.
* Dry your baby's face gently. Simply pat your baby's skin dry.
* Don't pinch or scrub the acne. You may cause more irritation or an infection.
* Avoid using lotions or oils on your baby's skin.