Baby Acne: Causes, Symptoms & How to Get Rid of It

Baby acne is an infant skin condition associated with the appearance of small, raised dots. It is considered to be normal and temporary, and not a sign of illness. In most cases, it does not require any specific treatment.

Baby acne can disappear within 2 to 3 weeks of it appearing. It is important to keep the baby's skin clean and wash it with neutral soap.

If the baby acne does not resolve after a few weeks, it is important to consult the child's pediatrician the skin can be assessed and treated as necessary.

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What causes baby acne?

The cause of baby acne is not fully known, but it is thought to be related to the exchange of hormones between mother and baby during pregnancy and after birth. These fluctuations in hormones can lead to skin abnormalities and the appearance of baby acne.

This type of acne is more common in babies under 6 weeks of age, and normally appears between the 2nd and 4th week after birth.

However, baby acne can also be present up to 6 months of age and, in these cases, it may be a sign of a hormonal change. It is essential to consult a pediatrician for assessment and testing if needed, to identify the underlying cause and start the most appropriate treatment.

Main symptoms

The main symptom of baby acne is the appearance of small dots on the skin, similar to pimples, which can be red or white in color. These small pimples can appear on the baby's face, neck, back, head and chest.

How to get rid of baby acne

Treatment for baby acne is normally not necessary, as it resolves on its own within a few weeks.  Parents and caregivers are advised keep the baby's skin clean with water and a mild soap.

Some additional care that can reduce the redness around the acne includes:

  • Dressing the baby in cotton-based clothes appropriate for the season, being sure to avoid overheating
  • Wiping off saliva or milk whenever the baby drools to preventing it from drying on the skin
  • Bathing the baby with warm water
  • Avoiding acne products sold in pharmacies, as they are not adapted for baby's skin
  • Avoiding squeezing pimples or rubbing them while bathing, as this can worsen inflammation;
  • Avoiding any oily creams, especially in the affected area, as this lead to more acne

In more serious cases, where baby acne takes more than 3 months to resolve, it is recommended to go back to the pediatrician for reassessment and possible treatment with medication.