Babies are born with smooth, clear skin, but around the second to fourth week, some develop facial rashes. This is called baby acne. Let’s have a brief look of causes and treatment.
Babies are born with smooth, clear skin, but around the second to fourth week, some develop facial rashes. The rash can have tiny red, yellow, or white dots or red blotches. At work are the hormones in your baby’s body, which cause an overproduction of skin oil. The oil glands and pores then become clogged, creating that pimply look.
When and How it Appears
Baby acne can be present at birth but typically appears at three to four weeks of age. Fleshy or red pimples occur predominantly on the cheeks, but are also quite common on the forehead, eyelids, chin, neck, and upper chest may also become involved. Comedones are sometimes present. It will be most well-known when the baby is hot or fussy, or when the skin is irritated. Occasionally during the first year a baby develops inflamed pimples and blackheads on his or her face, which look very similar to a mild form of teenage acne. It is an uncommon condition and tends to occur in babies from families with a strong history of acne, although this is not always the case.
Diagnosis and Causes
Acne-like breakouts in babies can be difficult to diagnose accurately because there are different, usually temporary and harmless conditions of the skin that often look very similar but have different underlying causes. The cause is relatively unknown. There are many sebaceous glands on the face, back and chest. With acne these glands become plugged. This causes white heads, black heads and inflammation.
- Eighty-five percent of babies have some acne.
- It is not dangerous and almost always goes away eventually.
- Several temporary hormonal imbalances can occur in the neonatal period that may play a role in the newborn period; however, blackheads, which are the typical lesion seen in cases of adolescent acne, are not seen in babies. There can also be involvement of yeast called pityrosporum, the conditions that normally cause this condition. This type of rash is not harmful to the child and can be treated with a topical antifungal.
- Controversy exists regarding the true nature of baby acne, some arguing that it is not truly acne but a rash with different underlying causes, but because the condition most commonly resolves on its own, the discussion is mostly academic. When treatment is offered, it is usually in the form of combination of antifungal creams along with a variety of creams typically used in the treatment of acne. Sometimes oral medications are used if warranted.
- It presents as blackheads and inflammatory lesions, similar to the way adolescent acne would look. It can occur at anywhere from two months to two years of age or more. Baby boys are more commonly affected than girls. The face is typically involved. The underlying cause is thought to the hormonal.
Once diagnosed, the acne is usually treated with appropriate oral or topical antibiotics in conjunction with topical benzoyl peroxide and low concentration of tretinoin. Early treatment is important in even mild cases, as there is a significant risk of scarring.
If the acne is not broken yet, wash baby’s face with a warm or hot water and baby soap two times a day. Make soap bubbles with warm water as much as possible in a basin. Use both hands to wash baby face with these soap bubbles for one minute. Use hot water from a shower to rinse the baby face for twenty seconds. Meanwhile use palm gently to pat the face. Then use warm water to rinse for another twenty seconds. Do this method three times a day.