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Baby Acne: Symptoms Causes And Treatment

  • Even though baby acne is one of the most common skin diseases in newborns and babies, seeing these little bumps appear can be stressful for a parent.
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1. What Is Baby Acne?

  • Baby acne is similar to acne that many people have in their teens and twenties. Baby acne can appear anywhere on your newborn's body, but it most commonly appears on their cheeks and back. Baby acne is often referred to as neonatal acne. 
  • The illness, which is usually curable, affects roughly 30% of neonates. Baby acne differs from infantile acne in that open "blackheads" do not generally occur.

  • This skin issue usually appears two to four weeks after your kid is born. Having said that, some neonates are born with acne. Infants may be affected at any time throughout their first few months of life.

2. How Does Baby Acne Appear?

  • Baby acne resembles acne that many teenagers and adults have experienced: hard red pimples surrounded by red, irritated skin. These pimples appear on your baby's skin and, like teenage and adult acne, may develop into white pustules.
  • However, baby acne might be difficult to recognize at times. It may be difficult to distinguish acne from an allergic reaction, a rash, or another skin condition like eczema or cradle cap. In the following part, we'll go over these distinctions in greater depth so you can readily detect infant acne.

3. How Do I Distinguish Baby Acne From Other Skin Conditions?

  • Here are some broad recommendations for differentiating baby acne from other skin problems that can frequently appear very similar.

    1/Allergen Reactions

  • Let us begin with rashes induced by allergic responses. These types of breakouts usually emerge quickly, sometimes within 10 minutes. 
  • Allergic reactions frequently manifest as hives, which resemble infant acne.

    2/Heat Burns

  • Heat rashes, as the name implies, typically occur when it is hot outside. Heat rash can also appear in hot spots on your baby's body, such as the armpits, feet, wrists, and neck. 
  • Baby acne is considerably less likely to appear on these parts of your child's body. The same is true with diaper rash. If your kid has a rash on their diaper, it's most likely not baby acne.


  • Eczema is a skin disorder that causes dry, flaking skin. While both eczema and infant acne induce redness, eczema does not typically cause bumps, whereas baby acne does. 
  • Acne causes oily skin, in contrast to the dry, flaky skin that babies with eczema generally have.

    4/Toxic Erythema

  • Another common skin ailment is erythema toxicum, which can manifest as a rash, small pimples, or red blotches. It is visible on your baby's face, chest, or limbs in the first few days following birth.
  • Erythema toxicum is completely safe and normally disappears within a week of birth. If left untreated, baby acne may not clean up on its own.


  • Milia are little white lumps that might appear on your baby's face. They arise within a few weeks of birth when dead skin cells become trapped in tiny pockets of skin. 
  • Milia has nothing to do with baby acne and do not require treatment; they occur frequently and resolve on their own.

    6/The Cradle Cap

  • The cradle cap is the last but not the least. A cradle cap causes tiny, greasy, reddish lumps to grow on a baby's head and neck. 
  • A cradle cap differs from infant acne in that it appears on the crown of your baby's head and might feel crusty or gritty.

4. What Causes Acne in Babies?

  • While baby acne affects an estimated 30% of newborn children, experts aren't sure what causes it. 
  • There are, however, some credible explanations for the origins of infant acne.


  • Some scientists believe that baby acne is caused by maternal hormones. The exposure could happen while your baby is still in the womb, or it could happen through breastfeeding.
  • But don't let that affect how you feed your baby. Even though hormones in your breast milk are causing your baby's acne, it is not a serious issue that normally resolves within a few days.

    2/ Reaction Formula

  • Just as maternal hormones from breastfeeding may trigger your child's acne, a formula may also play a role. 
  • Any active element in the formula could be the cause of your baby's acne, especially if the formula comes into contact with your child's skin.
  • Feedings are occasionally unpredictable and can be quite untidy. Furthermore, if the formula gets on your child's sensitive skin, it can cause baby acne. 
  • Consider whether or not your child spits up, which is common in babies. A breakout can occur if your infant is regularly spitting up the formula.

    3/ Yeast

  • Another notion is that baby acne is caused by yeast strains that live on your infant's skin. Some specialists believe that the Malassezia yeast species, in particular, is to blame. 
  • When yeast colonizes the surface of a newborn's skin, it causes inflammation and the formation of baby acne.

    4/Imbalance in Probiotics

  • A third possibility is that your baby's acne is caused by a probiotic imbalance in his or her stomach. Probiotics are beneficial bacteria that people require to digest food properly.
  • Babies are still attempting to acquire the correct bacteria and maintain a healthy balance of them in their bellies while they are very young. Some medical practitioners believe that a probiotic imbalance is the true cause of newborn diarrhea.

    5/Reaction to Medication

  • Certain drugs and viral infections may also cause an acne-like rash on your baby's body. If your child gets a rash or an acne-like breakout after being unwell or being exposed to new medicine, notify your doctor immediately.
  • Whatever is causing your baby's acne, the same simple remedies can help it go away! Let's take a look at the 11 best ideas for treating your child's acne.

5. Suggestions for Baby Acne Treatment

  • Baby acne can continue for a few days to several months. A medicinal cream or ointment that helps clear up obstinate infant acne may be prescribed by your baby's pediatrician.
  • Use only over-the-counter acne treatments, face washes, and lotions that have been specifically made with your child's fragile skin in mind, using natural, plant-based, and gentle ingredients that are safe.
  • Your baby's skin is extremely sensitive at this age. Using any OTC ointment may aggravate the acne or create extra skin irritation since some of its ingredients may be too powerful for your baby's sensitive skin.

    1/Use a Gentle Cleansing Product to Treat and Prevent Baby Acne

  • Keeping newborn acne under control—and perhaps eliminating it—can be as simple as frequently cleaning your baby with a gentle cleansing product. But you don't want to use any cleanser on their fragile, sensitive skin.
  • It's recommended to use one designed specifically for babies. To avoid drying out their sensitive skin, we recommend choosing a product that contains micellar water, such as Mustela's Gentle No-Rinse Cleansing Water.

    2/ Avoid rubbing your baby's skin with rough fabric

  • Rough textiles might aggravate your baby's acne by aggravating the already delicate skin. That is why it is critical to keep abrasive fabrics away from your newborn. Keep wool and other coarse fibers away from your baby's skin by dressing them in supersoft garments.
  • Similarly, do not bathe your infant with a washcloth. The roughness of the cloth can rip open the pimples and cause infection. Instead, wash your child with your hands, making sure to remove any jewelry that could poke or prick.

    3/After a bath, pat dry your baby

  • Towels are notoriously rough, especially for your baby's sensitive skin. And if they have baby acne, the situation might be made considerably worse.
  • Always pat your baby's skin dry rather than rubbing it to prevent bath towels from causing acne. Rubbing using a rough fabric, such as a towel or washcloth, helps exfoliate the skin, which is usually a positive thing. However, it may aggravate your baby's already inflamed skin.
  • Similarly, the heat produced by rubbing your infant dry might add to the discomfort caused by baby acne. Always pat your baby's skin dry gently.

    4/Avoid using oily creams or lotions

  • Acne is the result of blocked pores. Dirt and oil become trapped around a hair follicle, forming a clog that irritates the surrounding skin. 
  • This is the visible redness and swelling that is usually linked with acne. Because acne is caused by an accumulation of oil and grime, greasy creams and lotions should be avoided on acne-prone skin.

    5/Refrain From Picking At The Bump

  • You might be tempted to pop or pick at your baby's lumps. Make every effort to avoid this impulse. In the long run, breaking open the pimples does little good and might lead to infection and scarring.
  • You may even stimulate your baby's sebaceous glands to create even more oil. That excess oil on your baby's skin could lead to another acne eruption.

    6/ Keep Irritants Away From Your Baby’s Skin

  • Rough textiles, like towels, washcloths, and clothing, have already been discussed, but there are additional fabrics that can irritate your baby's sensitive skin. Keep your baby away from coarse-textured furnishings. If the carpet is very rough, don't allow your child to roll around on it.
  • You may even need to inspect your child's plush animals to ensure that they are not overly harsh. If you have pets, be especially careful to keep your baby's environment clean because dander can create an allergic reaction in acne-prone skin.

    7/Adhere to a Healthy Breastfeeding Diet

  • Most mothers choose to exclusively breastfeed their newborns for the first six months, if not longer. This, of course, means that the baby's only source of nourishment is its mother's milk.

    8/Maintain Consistency

  • Most importantly, be patient. After the shock of birth, it can take weeks for your baby's physiology to regulate and achieve a balance. The issue will eventually clear up, and your baby's skin will be soft and silky. Even better, your infant will be at ease in their skin. This results in more snuggle time, longer naps, and improved eating habits.
  • If you are concerned about your baby's acne, we recommend that you check with a doctor. He or she can, at the very least, put your mind at ease about your child's rash. The doctor may even decide to prescribe something stronger to help clear up your baby's acne.

6. Conclusion 

  • It's natural for a concerned parent to be bothered and overwhelmed by the sight of acne on their child's generally delicate skin. Baby acne should be treated with delicate, loving care.
  • Remember to gently wash and pat dry your baby's face with mild baby soap and water every day. Avoid anything that could irritate your child's sensitive skin, such as harsh skin care products, clothing, food, or other items in their environment. And do your best to be patient with your baby's acne. Follow the advice in this article and remember that acne is unlikely to harm your child, so don't let it upset you!


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