Baby Acne: Causes, Symptoms, And Treatment

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Baby acne is found on, yes, babies. It is also referred to as neonatal acne. They resemble small pimples, usually colored white or red. Although only a tiny percentage of babies have baby acne, it is not a rare case.

Babies usually experience this skin condition in their first few months, but disappear after a few weeks, even without treatment.

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Causes of Baby Acne

It is not clear what causes this. But experts say it is most probably due to hormones. They say that overactivity in the skin’s oil glands caused by testosterone may be a factor contributing to the development of this kind of acne.

What are the Symptoms?

Baby Acne: Causes, Symptoms, And Treatment
Baby Acne: Causes, Symptoms, And Treatment

Baby acne usually looks like small pimples. They are either red spots or white pimples. The baby’s upper chest, scalp, forehead, upper back, chin, and neck are the most common parts of the body where this skin condition is commonly found.

Treatment of Baby Acne

Baby Acne: Causes, Symptoms, And Treatment
Baby Acne: Causes, Symptoms, And Treatment

Baby acne is a harmless condition among babies. They disappear as the days go by on their own, so no treatment is needed for it.

It is best to leave this skin condition alone. Do not attempt to treat it or apply anything on it, as it may only irritate it and may be a cause of infection for your baby.

But if it is persistent and does not disappear after a few weeks, then it is best that you consult your baby’s pediatrician. They are the right people to know if your baby’s acne needs medication or not.

Infantile Acne

Baby Acne: Causes, Symptoms, And Treatment
Baby Acne: Causes, Symptoms, And Treatment

Do not confuse infantile acne with baby acne. Infantile acne is different form baby acne. Infantile acne appears as open comedones or blackheads, cysts, or nodules. Baby acne can disappear after a few weeks, but infantile acne may be present in your baby up to 2 years. In some cases, it may even still be visible until early puberty.

Conditions Which Resemble Baby Acne

Baby Acne: Causes, Symptoms, And Treatment
Baby Acne: Causes, Symptoms, And Treatment

There are several conditions among babies which may resemble baby acne. Below are several of those skin conditions in babies which may be mistaken as baby acne.

  • Chickenpox

Chickenpox is caused by a virus called varicella-zoster. It appears as blister-like spots and pimples and is often accompanied by itching, fever, and tiredness. This skin disease is contagious.

  • Eczema

Eczema includes contact dermatitis, dyshidrotic eczema, seborrheic dermatitis or cradle cap, and atopic dermatitis.

It usually starts as small red bumps on the face which become infected and will look crusty and yellowish. It can also be found on your baby’s knees and elbows. Eczema worsens on these areas when your baby starts to crawl.

  • Milia

Milia develop on your baby’s face as small white bumps. These are dead skin cells which get caught in tiny skin pockets and usually appear on your baby’s face several weeks after birth.

  • Neonatal Herpes

This is a rare condition among babies, but it may resemble to look like acne on babies. It appears as a rash on your baby’s body. Although baby acne is a harmless skin condition, neonatal herpes can make a baby very ill. It may be mistaken as baby acne because it usually appears as small blisters or sores around the mouth and lips. This condition needs immediate medical treatment.

  • Erythema toxicum

Erythema toxicum is a skin condition among babies which closely resembles baby acne. It is also harmless, just like the latter. But it disappears faster, only within a few days, compared with baby acne, even without treatment. It does not require surgery either, just like baby acne.

  • Inflamed hair follicle

The infected hair follicle is medically known as bacterial folliculitis which is caused by injury or infection. Harsh ingredients from creams or ointments may cause this infection. It appears as acne but with red rings around it. It is not common among babies.

A Tip or Two

Any unusual condition on your baby may cause you to panic. This is a typical reaction, especially for first-time parents. If you see anything unusual on your baby, be it on his/her behavior, and on his/her skin and body, never do self-medication.

Babies are susceptible, and they do not have a stable and robust immune system yet. It is best that you consult your baby’s doctor so you will know what to do with your baby. If you do things on your own, especially treating your baby’s skin or health condition, you might do more harm than good to your baby.

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