Baby acne (infantile acne) is a rough, pimple-like rash on the baby's face. It is most prominent on the baby's cheeks, nose and forehead. Baby acne is a common problem among newborns and young infants.It typically appears on the infant's face within one week to four weeks after birth. In most cases, it clears up on its own after a couple of weeks without the need of any treatment.
There is no clear explanation about the occurrence of acne among infants. However, experts often points out that it may be related to maternal hormones receive by the baby before a mother gives birth. These hormones are said to overstimulate the oil-producing glands in the baby's skin resulting in skin eruptions like acne. It becomes more pronounced if the baby's skin is irritated with saliva, dirt, spilt milk, rough fabrics or those that has been washed in strong detergents.
Certain medications, viral illnesses and allergic reactions can also contribute to the occurrence of baby acne. Thus, it is important to let your baby's doctor know about these so your baby will be given the appropriate treatment and care.
Baby Acne is usually characterized by small pimple-likered bumps on the baby's cheeks, nose and forehead but can occur anywhere on the face and back. Whiteheads are sometimes present and possibly, some small pustules. The acne will be most prominent when the baby is hot or fussy due to the increased blood flow to the skin or when the skin is irritated. If the irritation appears rashly or scaly, or it appears elsewhere on the body, he may have other skin conditions such as cradle cap or eczema.
There is no specific treatment for baby acne as it usually clears up within a couple of weeks. However, if the unsightly appearance of skin eruptions concerns you, you can consult your baby's doctor whenever needed to discuss available treatment options and skin care restrictions or modifications.During your doctor's appointment, a thorough family and medical history may be obtained in order to determine the seriousness of the baby's acne. The doctor may ask you for a possible family history of severe acne or use medications that might have come into contact with the baby such as corticosteroids or iodine-containing drugs.
If the baby's acne becomes bothersome among parents, the doctor usually recommends the use of a topical cream. It is very important to consult the doctor before using over-the-counter medications to avoid unnecessary skin damage and untoward complications.
Although baby acne is normal, certain home practices can help prevent exacerbation of the baby's skin condition.
- It is important to always wash the baby's face using mild facial soap and to dry the face gently.
- Lotions, oils and other face creams need to be avoided.
- Keep your baby from scratching his face by using hand mittens until the baby pimples disappear.
- Most importantly, do not pinch or scrub the acne to avoid irritation or infection.