Baby Can Get Acne Too

It is normal for infants to have acne. It is called acne neonatorum.   It is very common, occurring in at least twenty percent of all infants. It will start immediately after the baby is born because it is a problem based on hormones from the mother, which remain after the delivery, causing this type of infant acne. They show themselves as small red pimples on the face, particularly the forehead, cheeks, and chin.

There is also just regular infant acne that often shows up around the age of three weeks old. More prevalent on baby boys than girls, it also is mainly on the face, though sometimes it can be seen on the scalp as well.  As this type of acne will go away without treatment, usually before the fourth month, it is best left alone. It's a good idea to gently wash the baby's face with a very mild soap then rinse with warm water at least once daily. Don't use anything else on baby's face like creams or lotions, as this is likely to cause more problems and will not hasten the acne's departure.

Parents should not worry if their baby develops acne. It does not mean that they are not taking good care of their child. Some parents think it means that they are not cleaning their baby properly, but this is not true.  Other parents feel guilty that if they had acne as teens, which most did, then it is their fault that the baby has acne. This also is not true.

There are other kinds of acne that an infant may get. One type is called milia. This type is not there when the baby is born but will appear usually after the first week.  It can be caused by a baby having spent time in an incubator, wearing clothing that does not allow the skin to properly breathe or having a fever.  This type also goes away quickly. You can help it do that by reducing baby's sweating. Cool baths can help this.

Infantile acne is one more type of acne your baby can suffer from. This one has a slightly later onset, usually about three months of age.  This type is more serious then the others and will have baby's face covered with whiteheads and sometimes little pustules. They are most likely to be on baby's cheeks and little nose.  They will disappear by the time baby is a year old, while the odd time it will last into their third year.  Treatment is not recommended in this case either other then the common sense use of gentle soaps to wash baby's face. But if it is causing baby distress or discomfort using a little benzoyl peroxide can assist in easing the swelling.  If this still does not seem to make baby more comfortable talk to your health care provider about some lotion or cream to use on your baby's delicate skin. This isn't serious and it will go away on its own.

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