Baby acne is a skin condition on the newborn’s cheeks, chin and forehead. This temporary annoyance isn’t dangerous, and it is quite common. This condition is medically known as neonatal acne, acne infantum, acne neonatorum or neonatal cephalic pustulosis. Many parents are very worried about this red acne-like rash and are desperately seeking a successful treatment to clean this condition. However, no treatment at all is usually the best possible approach. The condition will normally clear spontaneously and very quickly without any treatment.
Symptoms of baby acne
Baby acne normally develops within the first four weeks after birth. However, some children are even born with baby acne on their skin, which makes their parents very much afraid about the baby’s health status. The affected skin looks inflamed and infected as the small red bumps or pustules form on certain areas of the baby’s head. The most commonly affected areas are cheeks, chin and forehead. The acne tends to come and go, but the condition usually seems worse when the baby is fussy or crying.
It is not unusual for a baby to develop small white bumps on the nose, chin or cheeks. These bumps areknown as milia, which are commonly found even on the skin of adults. Milia are formed when a dead skin does not slough off normally but instead stays trapped in a small pocket on the exterior of the skin.
Causes of baby acne
Baby acne is in general caused by hormonal fluctuations that happen during pregnancy. It typically appears within the first three to four weeks after birth. However, during the final stage of the pregnancy, the hormones from the mother’s body are passed into the infant, through the placenta. The hormones are stimulating the oil glands on the baby’s skin and giving rise to baby acne. The exact mechanism by which baby acne develop is yet unknown, but scientists widely believe that the increased sensitivity of the infant’s sebaceous glands to hormones also leads to other similar skin conditions in infants.
Treatment for baby acne
Baby acne treatment is generally not necessary. In most of the cases, the condition will go away on its own in about 4 to 6 months. Parents should seek the help of a pediatrician if the baby's acne does not go away beyond that time. Parents should gently clear the baby’s face once a day with water and mild baby shampoo or soap. Using oils, creams and lotions is not recommended since these products may even aggravate the condition.