Do you notice rashes and pimples on your newborn’s delicate skin? That must be infant acne, but don’t worry, it’s normal for babies to get acne, too. This form of acne, also called baby acne, is common among one-month old babies. There are some cases too, however, wherein the pimples are already present right after birth. It’s temporary; however, it might recur intermittently within a period of six months.
Like in adults, infant acne is manifested by inflamed skin with tiny and bumpy whiteheads in the middle. You can usually find these on the cheeks, on the forehead and on the chin. What causes infant acne is still unknown to specialists, though these can be triggered by the irritation of the skin due to saliva, milk and clothing or fabric that have been washed with harsh soap and are frequently held against the baby’s face. It can also be triggered by a certain kind of drugs the mother have taken while breastfeeding or those that were given to the baby.
Some experts claim that infant acne is caused by the excess hormones the baby has gotten from the mother at the closing stages of the pregnancy. The baby may be in the process of eliminating these active hormones out of its body and infant acne is one of the ways through which the baby does this. Other babies may respond to these hormones differently and you may not even be aware of it.
Infant acne is not life threatening as it is a normal cleaning process babies undergo, so don’t worry too much. It will last just for a couple of weeks and your baby’s skin will again be as gentle as it was. In it manageable and in most cases, treatment is not necessary. But there are things you should avoid doing to prevent infections that could harm your baby. Many parents think it’s caused by dirt so they scrub the baby’s skin. This should never be done as it will only irritate the skin and cause it to get more inflamed. You can clean it with clean water and baby soap that is gentle to your baby’s skin.
Also, do not treat the infant acne yourself by using ointments or oils as these would only worsen the acne. If the condition of the infant acne is severe it would be best to bring your baby to the pediatrician or dermatologist who can recommend the right treatment. Usually doctors recommend benzoyl peroxide creams, an antibacterial drug that helps kill bacteria that aggravate infant acne. These can be bought over the counter.
The doctor may also prescribe a drug, which your baby may have to take for a certain period of time, but this is usually given only for severe conditions of infant acne. Generally, infant acne does not last long so they say that the best solution is to be patient about it. If it doesn’t make your baby too uncomfortable, better not worry too much about it as well.