Baby Acne

Baby Acne: Information and Treatment

Baby Acne is called neonatorum which is seen in newborn babies. This is a quite common problem which is observed in about 20 percent infants. The main reason behind these acne rashes in babies is the presence of maternal hormones in the baby. These hormones remain inside the baby’s body and stimulate the sebaceous glands. These hormones get transferred to baby’s body through placenta and oil glands on the skin produce acne like rashes. In this condition, cheeks, chin and forehead on the face of new born get filled with red pimples. Some babies also have whiteheads on the face.

Normal pattern of baby acne is as follows.

Acne may be present at the time of delivery also but normally it sets in when baby is in third week of age. You can observe that male babies are more affected by baby acne then female babies. Pustules and papules are the most common type of baby acne. These are small round and solid red bump above the skin resembling a pimple. Pustules are small bumps inside the skin, filled with pus.

Most of the times, skin around face, neck are affected by the acne but sometimes scalp may also be affected. The most important thing to be remembered about baby acne is that they resolve themselves after sometimes. In most of the cases, they disappear within four months. It is just a temporary phase which will pass away within few months. You need not follow any type treatment or medication for it; you should just wash baby’s skin with mild soap and water at least once a day. If you unnecessarily apply some oil or lotion, it will just aggravate the situation rather than improving it. If in any case, baby has the severe acne rashes, then doctors prescribe topical applications like retinoids or other keratolytic agents or benzoyl peroxide.

You should remember one another important fact about baby acne. If you have a family history of acne, it does not mean your baby will surely have acne and also having baby acne does not mean that baby will have acne when he or she becomes adolescent or adult.


There is another skin condition in new born babies which is different from baby acne but often confused with it. It is called Milia or Miliaria. These are kind of rashes which look like white bumps on the skin of face and scalp mainly. It is caused by manily due to incubator warming, clothing, occlusive dressing or fever. It generally appears within the first week of baby birth. There is no need to any treatment for this problem. Just try to reduce the amount of sweat and heat around baby. Keep the baby in loose clothing and can get him cool baths.

Case of Infantile Acne

There is another kind of acne which does not appear just after the birth; it rather develops after three months of the birth. It is just different from new born or baby acne which appears just after the birth.

Just like neonatal acne or baby acne, infantile acne is also due to presence of maternal hormones in the baby’s body. But infantile acne is more severe than the baby acne. In this kind of acne is characterized by the presence of yellow papules on the face. Cheeks and nose have more density of papules. Other types of acne like pustules or comedones also develop in some babies.

Infantile acne takes little more time to disappear though it also resolves itself without any medicines. It may take 12 months to disappear. In some sever cases; it persists up to three years. It depends upon the level of hormone testosterone which is result of genetic makeup.

If baby is feeling uncomfortable, you can apply benzoyl peroxide or such other topical applications on the babies face. It is often observed that babies who suffer from infantile acne might have acne in puberty also.

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