A newborn is definitely a bundle of joy to the parents, but what comes along is the great responsibility to take care of them. No matter how much of preparation you might have done in terms of studies and information about the newborns, you must always be ready for surprises or at times shocks.
Baby acne is one such condition that shocks many parents, who can never associate acne with a new born. Neonatal acne or baby acne, also referred to as acne neonatorum, acne infantum and neonatal cephalic pustulosis is the acne irruption on the face of a newborn or infants mainly on the nose chin, cheeks or forehead area.
Baby acne can show up as the red skin breakouts or may appear in the form of pimples, rashes, pustules, blackheads or whiteheads on the baby’s face. Baby acne does not cause any scars.
Although, baby is not discomforted by the acne, the parents might seem worried and stressed about it, since most of the parents cannot relate acne with a newborn or infant as it is mostly considered to be the skin condition for the adolescents and young adults. However, the infants can also have skin breakouts and baby acne is considered a normal skin condition.
Baby acne usually appears on the first month; however it can also show up later or even earlier. The baby acne normally appears anytime till the baby is 4 months old. Baby acne can occur due to the sensitivity of kid’s sebaceous glands to the mother’s hormones during pregnancy.
In simple words, the hormones left by the mother into the body of the kid in the last week of pregnancy can cause baby acne. This process is extremely important and critical for the physical development of the baby in the last minute before the birth.
This process develops the vital organs in the baby’s body such as, preparing the lungs for breathing the air by increasing the size. While developing the baby’s organs, these hormones can also stimulate the oil glands in the baby’s body causing the skin breakouts in the form of acne. But, similar to teen acne reasons, the main baby acne causes are also unknown and there are several theories by the researchers.
There can be various types and causes of baby acne.
Infantile Acne: This is the most common type of baby acne and is a normal skin condition in the newborns babies.
Adolescent Acne: This is not a common skin condition as baby acne and needs immediate medical attention. Adolescent Acne in newborns or infants can be due to hormone producing tumour or endocrine disorder. Adolescent acne will also have development signs of the genitalia.
Acne due to medication: Baby acne can also be caused due to any medication that the newborn might be on; however the parents are forewarned, if there can be any acne breakouts due to medicinal effects.
Other factors that may not be the baby acne causes but can intensify the skin condition are milk, spit ups, allergic reaction to strong detergent, a particular fabric for baby clothes or can be infections due to unhygienic touch on the baby’s sensitive face.
Even the harmless food particles can stimulate baby acne and baby rash. Normally, baby acne lasts for a few days and disappears. It is a skin condition that does not require any specific medication. Applying any lotion or cream can worsen the acne breakouts as children’s skin is far more sensitive than we can think.
However, if the baby acne stays on for a longer duration and refuses to go away in approximately three months time, it’s better to consult a medical practitioner. You must not decide on any medicines on your own, especially when it comes to infants or newborns.
Newborns or infants are very sensitive and can easily react to any medicines. Taking a professional help is always a great decision to deal with infant problems, no matter how minor or small the problem may be.
When the baby acne shows up, you must take a closer look. Although, it goes away naturally, you must not touch the acne on baby’s face as it may intensify the acne and worsen the condition. The few basic pointers to eliminate the baby acne causes are to keep the face of the baby clean. Make sure the food particles are not left on the baby’s face.
While feeding there can be some spills on the baby’s face that can be a baby acne cause. Be careful, while washing the baby clothes and use a safe and mild detergent. Normal detergents can be harsh and can also cause irritation to the delicate skin of your baby.
Use certified baby products for a safer side. Use soft fabric for baby’s clothing and also use mild soaps. Baby’s face should not be rubbed during the acne breakouts. Avoid using creams and lotions on baby’s face as it may worsen the breakouts.
The baby acne must not be confused with baby rash. Baby acne and baby rash are two different things.
Rashes can appear due to warm weather or if the baby is dressed up too warmly. Rashes appear on all over the body and can cause huge discomfort to the child.
Rashes can be treated with lotions and creams. Rashes can appear pink or slightly red in colour and you can easily differentiate them from red bumpy baby acne breakouts that appear mainly on the baby’s face, to be more specific on nose and cheeks of the baby.
There are also milia to confuse the baby acne with. Milia are tiny white spots that come with birth and disappear in 2 weeks. Milia resemble the baby rashes more than acne.
Interesting fact is that approximately, 20 percent of the newborns are affected by the neonatal acne and the male infant is more prone to baby acne than female infant. To avoid worsening the condition, keep the baby clean and let the baby acne fade away in its due course of time. There is not point getting worried about it until it refuses to clear up in the given period of time.
Read also on Types of Adult Acne.