How Long Does Newborn Baby Acne Last
Newborn baby acne usually only lasts a few days, and in the vast majority of cases is completely gone within two weeks. Sometimes spots can appear only to disappear a few hours later and sometimes they will stick around for three to four months. Recurrences can happen but are generally very mild.
It sounds awful, I know, but when my baby first developed the acne all I could think once I knew it was nothing to worry about was, Oh no, shes not perfect anymore. What will people say? Of course, nobody said anything. Well, nothing unkind anyway. If I brought it up , they just shared stories of their own childs ailments, from newborn baby eczema to newborn baby cradle cap, and how theyd also been a mix of concerned and embarrassed which actually really helped and made me feel less like a Disney villain.
Sarah, mother to Molly, 1
A Dermatologist Can Tell You When To Treat Your Babys Acne
Seeing acne on your babys skin can be worrisome. A dermatologist can tell you whether you need to treat it. When acne requires treatment, you can rely on a dermatologists expertise to treat your baby safely.
ImagesImage of newborn acne used with permission of the American Academy of Dermatology National Library of Dermatologic Teaching Slides.
Image of baby being bathed,
ReferencesEichenfield LF, Krakowski AC, et al. Evidence-based recommendations for the diagnosis and treatment of pediatric acne. Pediatrics. 2013 131 Suppl 3:S163-86.
Serna-Tamayo C, Janniger CK, et al. Neonatal and infantile acne vulgaris: An update. Cutis 2014 94:13-15.
Zaenglein AL and Thiboutot DM. Acne vulgaris. In: Bolognia JL, et al. Dermatology. . Mosby Elsevier, Spain, 2008:500.
All content solely developed by the American Academy of Dermatology
The American Academy of Dermatology gratefully acknowledges the support from Galderma Laboratories, L.P.
There Are Many Theories Of Causes Of Baby Acne Here Are Some Of Them:
Maternal hormones during pregnancy. In utero babies are exposed to the mothers hormones that pass through the placenta. These hormones affect the babys sebaceous glands causing acne, which is sometimes present when babies are born.
Maternal hormonal exposure during lactation. While breastfeeding, infants are exposed to maternal hormones, thus causing acne breakout of newborn pimples on a babys face.
Maternal diet during pregnancy and breastfeeding. A high-fat diet is considered in the pediatric literature a risk factor for neonatal acne.
Abrasive cleansers and washcloths can precipitate neonatal acne. Newborn skin is exquisitely sensitive and easily affected by chemicals.
Washing infants clothes with harsh detergents. Chemicals and perfumes can affect babys skin again causing acne outbreak.
Medications. Meds that mom takes while breastfeeding can also worsen baby acne.
Viral illness in babies can also trigger neonatal acne. These viral rashes will usually be more obviously different than typical baby acne cases, as they usually come with fever and/or visible discomfort.
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What Is Baby Acne
There are two different types of acne, depending on babys age. Newborn acne, otherwise known as neonatal acne, can appear when baby is a newborn up to 3 months oldand its totally normal. Neonatal acne is a benign skin condition that roughly 20 percent of newborns have, explains Katie Pyle, DO, a pediatrician at UCHealth Pediatric Care Clinic in Firestone, Colorado. We dont really know the cause, but its likely either due to the stimulation of babys oil glands from moms hormones or an inflammatory reaction to a type of yeast that colonizes on a babys skin. The good news: While baby may have a few pimples in their pics, newborn acne doesnt point to future skin problems.
If baby is older than 3 months, they may be experiencing whats called infantile acne, especially if you notice larger red, raised blemishes or pustules, says Meagan ONeill, MD, a pediatrician with Riley Childrens Health in Indianapolis. Like newborn acne, infant acne occurs in about one-fifth of babies. While neonatal acne tends to go away on its own with age, infantile acne may stick around longer and, since it can be more severe than neonatal acne, may require treatment to avoid scarring.
An Indicator Of Future Skin Problems
Its almost impossible to tell what issues we must deal with in the future. But there are some clues when we are babies.
If your baby has neonatal acne, theres no need to worry. Although your child may still develop acne as they grow up, it isnt due to your pregnancy hormones. There is no connection between baby acne and the acne that teens and adults suffer from.
Infantile acne, on the other hand, can sometimes indicate that acne is also in the cards in the future. Some studies revealed this type could lead to more severe cases of breakouts during adolescent years .
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Fight & Prevent Baby Acne With A Gentle Cleansing Product
Keeping baby acne under control and even getting rid of it completely can be as simple as cleaning your baby with a gentle cleansing product regularly. But you dont want to clean their delicate, sensitive skin with just any cleanser.
Its best to use one thats specially formulated for newborns. We recommend using a product that contains micellar water, like Mustelas Gentle No Rinse Cleansing Water, so it does not dry out their sensitive skin.
Best of all, Mustelas Gentle No Rinse Cleansing Water doesnt require rinsing and is great for when youre on the go!
Micellar water is composed of tiny cleansing oil molecules suspended in super-soft water. It dissolves dirt and impurities to cleanse your babys skin without stripping off its natural oils. And because Mustelas Gentle No Rinse Cleansing Water contains no parabens, phthalates, or phenoxyethanol, its safe to use on children of any age.
Newborn Acne Is Generally Nothing To Worry About
About 20% of newborns have a type of acne called neonatal acne. Youll usually see it at about 2 weeks of age. However, it can develop any time before 6 weeks of age. Sometimes, a baby is born with acne.
If your newborn has acne, youll usually see breakouts on your babys cheeks and nose. Acne can also appear on a babys forehead, chin, scalp, neck, back, or chest.
Neonatal acne is generally nothing to worry about. It rarely causes a scar and tends to go away on its own in a few weeks to months.
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Keep Your Babys Face Clean
Wash your babys face daily with warm water. Bath time is a great time to do this. You dont even need to use anything but water, but if you want to, look for a mild soap or soap-free cleanser. Dont hesitate to ask the pediatrician for recommendations.
Fragrance-free products are least likely to irritate your babys skin.
How Can Breast Milk Help
Using breast milk to treat baby acne might seem a little far-fetched, but some people swear by this remedy.
To be clear, theres no science or research to support this claim. However, breast milk does have antimicrobial properties. This means it may reduce or destroy some microbes, like bacteria.
So if bacteria on your babys skin triggers acne, cleansing their skin with breast milk may help kill the bacteria and other impurities that block pores. This, in turn, can also reduce skin irritation and inflammation caused by acne.
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When To See The Pediatrician About Baby Acne
Generally speaking, theres no need to see your pediatrician specifically for baby acne. If youre concerned about trying to prevent or get rid of baby acne on the face, or youre not sure whether its infant acne or something else, its never a bad idea to discuss it with babys pediatrician. It can be reassuring to find out exactly whats going on with babys skin and, in the case of baby acne, to hear directly from the doctor that its truly nothing to be concerned about.
About the experts:
Katie Pyle, DO, is a pediatrician at UCHealth Pediatric Care Clinic in Firestone, Colorado, with a clinical interest in newborn care. She earned her medical degree from Lincoln Memorial University-DeBusk College of Osteopathic Medicine.
Meagan ONeill, MD, is a pediatrician with Riley Childrens Health in Indianapolis. She earned her medical degree from Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis.
Omar Baker, MD, FAAP, is an assistant clinical professor in the department of pediatrics at Columbia University and co-president of Riverside Medical Group in Northern New Jersey. He earned his medical degree from George Washington University.
Please note: The Bump and the materials and information it contains are not intended to, and do not constitute, medical or other health advice or diagnosis and should not be used as such. You should always consult with a qualified physician or health professional about your specific circumstances.
How Long Will My Babys Acne Last
The duration will depend on the type your baby has. Neonatal acne generally runs its course before four months of age. This type usually doesnt leave any scarring or marks later on.
Infantile acne, however, can be more persistent. Sometimes it can last up to two years, if not more. This may require treatment, especially if it seems tenacious it can also leave scarring if not treated properly .
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How Is Infantile Acne Treated
Although most cases of infantile acne resolve over time, it might be necessary for your doctor to prescribe medication.
Products containing benzoyl peroxide or topical retinoids are often prescribed for mild to moderate cases of infantile acne. Theyre usually applied directly to your baby’s skin.
Antibiotics are prescribed for mild acne that is inflammatory. The antibiotics come in the form of cream, and its applied to the skin. Antibiotics are used to treat severe acne too, but these are usually taken by mouth. Multiple medications may be prescribed at once.
Do Not Pick At The Bumps
You may be tempted to pop or pick at the bumps on your babys face. Do your best to resist this urge. Breaking open the acne does little good in the long run and can lead to infection and scarring.
You might even cause your babys sebaceous glands to kick into high gear and produce even more oil. That extra oil on your babys skin can cause yet another acne breakout.
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When Do I Need To Take My Baby To A Doctor
Newborn skin peeling is perfectly normal. With that said, there are some cases in which your newborn will require a trip to the family doctor. If your baby has skin that is red, cracked, scaly, or extremely itchy, visit a doctor as soon as possible.
Below are some of the most common skin problems among newborns.
Care Advice For Newborn Rashes And Birthmarks
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Keep Irritants Away From Your Babys Skin
Weve already talked about rough fabrics like towels, washcloths, and clothing, but there are other fabrics that can irritate your babys sensitive skin. Keep your infant away from furniture covered in coarse fabric. Dont let your little one roll around on the carpet if its particularly scratchy.
You may even need to inspect your childs stuffed animals to make sure that none of them are too rough. And if you have pets, be extra vigilant about keeping your babys environment clean, because dander can trigger an allergic reaction in acne-prone skin.
Various perfumes can also irritate your babys acne. Opt out of traditional perfumes or air fresheners and use Mustelas Musti Eau De Soin Spray instead. This natural, delicately scented spray is a versatile product that you can use on yourself, your baby, or your linens.
To ensure your babys environment is clean and free from allergens, use products that only contain natural ingredients.
Is Baby Acne Normal
First off, yes! Dont worry. Baby acne is quite common among infants.
Newborns still have many maternal hormones circulating in their system in the first few weeks following birth. These hormones can cause pimples to develop on the face . Its not uncommon to see baby acne on the chest, neck or back, too.
Before you blame yourself, Mom, its worth mentioning that baby acne isnt only caused by maternal hormones. Because the pores in your newborns skin arent completely developed, your baby may be susceptible to developing acne caused by some other external irritant.
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Why Does My Baby Have Bumps On His Face
Baby acne or Baby bump is also known as neonatal acne. It transpires in about 20% of a newborn. The main reason it appears on the babys skin because a newborns skin is prone to baby acne of all sorts. It also caused maternal and infant hormones. Luckily, most of these are harmless and go away on their own, without scarring.
Is Aquaphor Good For Baby Acne
Theres no proof that Aquaphor is an effective treatment for acne and might actually worsen acne in people prone to it. However, according to the makers, Aquaphor is an effective treatment for drool rash. You can apply a small amount of Aquaphor Baby Healing Ointment to soothe irritated skin on your babys face.
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