While acne is very common among adults, many people are not yet familiar with acne among babies. Also known as infant acne or neonatal acne, baby acne is a normal skin condition affecting around 20 percent of newborn babies around the world. It could be present at birth or appears within the first month or so after birth. It doesn’t cause any harm or discomfort to babies although it could greatly affect their appearance. When the condition is not too serious, infant acne usually goes away very quickly even without acne treatment.
What Baby Acne Looks Like
This skin condition appears differently among babies. In some babies, it appears just like adult acne while in some it appears like reddish pimples. In other babies, it could look like red bumps, rashes or whiteheads. This type of acne commonly appears in the baby’s cheeks and forehead although it could also appear in other parts of the face, even in baby’s back.
Common Causes of Acne on Babies
Although there is no conclusive evidence as to the causes of acne on babies, researchers believe that it could be caused by the following:
- Hormones of the mother that are released at the end of pregnancy and stimulate the oil glands in the baby’s skin which in turn promotes the development of acne.
- Excess hormones from new mothers and transferred to the baby through breastfeeding. The excess hormone stimulates the production of a substance called sebum in babies which clogs the pores and causes the acne.
- Unhealthy diet of mother during pregnancy. The more fatty or oily the mother’s diet, the more chances that the baby will have neonatal acne.
- Infant’s allergic reaction to certain medication or milk formula which in turn leads to the development of acne-like rashes.
- Skin irritants such as rough cloth used when cleaning or dressing up the baby.
- Allergic reaction to soap or lotion applied on baby’s face.
- Use of strong detergents and bleach in washing baby’s clothes which in turn can cause an allergic reaction
Treatment for Baby Acne
Many parents are really concerned about how to get rid of acne on babies. More often than not, baby acne will just go naturally without any treatment. There’s usually no need to use any topical medication, special creams or lotions to get rid of them. Just the usual cleansing of the babies face with water and mild soap will usually do. Sometimes, treating them can even do more harm than good especially if the wrong medication is used.
However, in severe cases or when the acne lasts several months, topical acne treatment can be applied but it should only be done under a doctor’s recommendation. The baby’s skin is very sensitive and applying any medication without the doctor’s advice could potentially harm the skin. Additionally, worried parents should also refer to the doctor when the acne has not gone away after several weeks as this can be a sign of a more serious skin problem.