What is Baby Acne and How to Treat It?

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For Parents who is having a baby for the first time, of course, will be completely worried if something happens to him. Including the appearance of small bumps which are baby acne.

Baby acne usually appears a few weeks after the baby is born. These pimples are similar to pimples that appear on the skin of teenagers, small bumps surrounded by red areas of skin.

Acne in babies usually appears on the cheeks, nose, forehead, chin, and even back. These pimples will appear more prominent when the baby has a fever or is fussy, or when the baby’s skin is irritated by saliva, breast milk, rough fabrics, or fabrics washed with harsh detergents.

Generally, this acne only occurs in the first few months of a baby’s life. But in some cases, this acne can last until the child is 2 years old. Even so, you don’t need to worry too much because this is not dangerous.

Causes of Baby Acne

It is not known exactly what causes this condition. But several things can trigger acne on the baby’s skin, such as drugs that are consumed by mothers while breastfeeding.

Baby products that contain oil that can close the pores can also be the cause of this condition.

Page What to Expect writes, the cause of acne in infants is the same as the cause of acne in adolescents, namely hormones. However, in the case of newborns, it is not their own hormones that may trigger acne problems, but the mother’s hormones that are still circulating in the baby’s bloodstream as the rest of the pregnancy. These maternal hormones stimulate the baby’s sluggish oil-producing glands, causing pimples to appear on the chin, forehead, eyelids and cheeks, and, occasionally, the head, neck, back, and upper chest.

What’s more, the pores on baby’s skin are not fully developed so they become easy targets for dirt infiltration and the development of blemishes. And babies usually have very sensitive skin – some more than others – which can also be a factor.

This will usually clear up on its own after a few weeks. But if after a few months this condition does not go away, you can consult a doctor.

Related article: Breakouts in newborns, is it really caused by allergies?

Symptoms and Characteristics

What is Baby Acne and How to Treat It?

What are the symptoms of this skin problem? As quoted from the health page healthline, Like acne in teens and adults, baby acne usually appears as red bumps or pimples.

White pustules or whiteheads can also develop, and reddish skin may surround the lump.

Baby acne can grow anywhere on their face, but most commonly it can appear on their cheeks. Some babies may also have acne on their upper back or neck.

Pimples can be very painful, especially if your baby is fussy or crying.

Rough cloths can irritate the pimple, as can vomit or saliva that remains on the face.

Baby acne sometimes appears at birth. But in most cases, the disease develops within two to four weeks after birth. And it can last for days or weeks, although in some cases it can last for several months.

What Conditions May Resemble Baby Acne?

Conditions similar to baby acne include eczema, erythema toxicum, and milia. So, what is the difference between this condition and baby acne? Here’s the explanation as explained on the health page Healthline.


Eczema usually appears as red bumps on the face. Eczema can also appear on the knees and elbows as your baby ages. Eczema can get worse, appearing yellow and crusty.

This skin disorder may worsen as your baby starts crawling and scraping their knees and elbows. It’s usually easy for doctors to tell the difference between baby acne and eczema.

The most common type of eczema is known as atopic dermatitis.

Seborrheic eczema is a condition that is most often misidentified as baby acne. This is also known as seborrheic dermatitis and the crib, or crib, closes.

Eczema can be treated with over-the-counter (OTC) products such as Aquaphor and Vanicream. Mild medication may also be prescribed.

You may also be asked to remove food allergens from your home and give your baby a daily probiotic.

Erythema Toxicum

Erythema toxicum is another common skin condition that may appear as a rash, small bumps, or red patches. It can be seen on your baby’s face, chest, or limbs in the first few days after they are born.

Erythema toxicum is harmless, and usually goes away in less than a week after birth.


Milia are small white bumps that may appear on your baby’s face. This skin disorder occurs when dead skin cells get trapped in small pockets of skin and may appear within a few weeks of birth.

Milia is not associated with baby acne and does not require treatment.

Related article: Milia the White Spots on the Face, This Cause and How to Get Rid of It

How to fix it

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Here are some ways you can do to deal with it:

1. Keep Baby’s Face Clean

The first way you can do is to keep your baby’s face clean. Wash your baby’s face every day with warm water.

You don’t need to use anything but water. But if you want, look for a gentle soap or facial cleanser that is specifically for babies. Don’t hesitate to ask your pediatrician for recommendations.

Choose fragrance-free products to avoid irritation to baby’s skin.

2. Avoid harsh products

Products with retinoids, which are related to vitamin A, or erythromycin, are commonly used for adult acne. However, they are usually not recommended for infants.

Do not use scented soaps, bubble baths, or other types of soap that contain excessive chemicals.

3. Skip the Lotion

Lotions and creams can irritate the skin and make acne worse. So it’s best to avoid these two things first.

4. Don’t Rub Baby’s Skin

Rubbing the skin with a towel can further aggravate the baby’s skin. Instead, gently sweep the towel over your face in a circular motion.

After the cleanser is washed off, use a towel to pat your baby’s face.

5. Don’t be blackmailed

Avoid pinching or squeezing the pimple. This will irritate your baby’s skin and can make the problem worse.

6. Be patient

This condition is usually harmless, does not itch or painful for your baby. Baby acne can heal quickly by itself.

Health page What to Expect wrote, Mothers can try natural remedies for baby acne at home. Some mothers suggest smearing the pimple area with breast milk. This natural method is claimed to help speed up the healing process.

Is Baby Acne Dangerous?

What is Baby Acne and How to Treat It?

The important thing that you must remember is that this condition is not dangerous and does not bother him. Therefore, you don’t need to panic if your little one’s skin appears acne. Treat as usual, acne will disappear on its own after a few weeks.

Although no definite cause has been found, there is nothing wrong with keeping your baby’s skin clean. Do not let his face smeared with saliva or milk, immediately clean the baby’s face if there is dirt or food residue on his face.

Always use special baby products because the formula has been adapted to the baby’s skin type which is safer than products intended for adults.

Avoid using clothes or blankets with rough surfaces that can irritate baby’s skin. Baby’s skin is still very sensitive. Therefore, this condition requires extra gentle handling from the mother.

Consumption of omega 3 by pregnant and lactating women is also believed to reduce allergies or other skin problems in babies.

Related articles: These are the benefits of Omega 3, important intake for pregnant women and babies

When to Consult a Doctor?

Don’t forget to consult a doctor if your baby’s acne contains pus or becomes inflamed. This could indicate a more serious health problem.

Consult your baby’s doctor if you are concerned about any aspect of your baby’s skin. Baby acne usually goes away within three to four months.

Those are the things related to baby acne that you need Parents understanding. I hope this information is helpful, Parents!


Article updated by: Kalamula Sachi

Read also:

These 5 most common baby skin problems, take a peek at how to treat them

Dry skin in babies, identify the causes and how to deal with it

Causes and the Right Way to Overcome Diaper Rash in Babies

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