Causes and Symptoms of Baby Acne
Baby Acne, sometimes called infantile acne is a skin problem which tends to appear within the first month or so after birth of the baby.
It is one of the most common skin conditions and affects around 20 percent of the babies.
Acne in children and babies usually appears on their cheeks, chin, fore head or even back in the form of blackheads, whiteheads, and pustules.
It tends to resolve on its own in a few weeks’ time and are usually harmless.
Baby acne occurs when the baby is around 4 weeks old and lasts till the age of 4 months. It is more prevalent in male child compared to female ones.
Causes of baby acne:
Although the exact cause is not completely known, researchers believe that, it may be due to hormones that pass from mother to baby through placenta during the last stages of pregnancy. Hormones may also get transferred to the baby in the form of mother’s milk.
Researchers are still working on to find out the other causes of baby acne. They have pointed out the medication that mother takes while nursing as one cause for baby acne. Certain medications given to the baby can also trigger acne breakouts. Acne breakouts tend to get worse, when a nursing mother feeds on oily and fatty foods.
Symptoms of baby acne:
Baby acne looks like rough, red rash on the infants nose and cheeks, although it can appear anywhere on the face and neck. Whiteheads can also be seen sometimes. Papules, comedones and small pustules will also be present.
Baby acne will be more prominent when the baby’s skin is irritated, or has high blood flow inside it, or when the baby is hot.
The condition becomes more pronounced when the baby’s skin comes in contact with milk or detergent.
These triggers should be avoided to prevent further acne breakouts in the baby.
Baby acne treatment options:
Baby acne usually clears up within a few weeks, but it can also linger up for months. While it is always good to wait for baby acne to fade naturally, the following natural methods of treating baby can be tried if the persistent red bumps don’t go away even after weeks.
- Gently cleanse the face with warm water every day, without using any scrubs. If the baby acne condition is worse, then the baby’s face should be cleansed with warm water, two to three times a day and then dried.
- Using baby wash and shampoo containing herbal ingredients will protect the baby’s skin from the effect of harsh bathing solutions.
- Avoiding the use of oils, lotions or creams, can prevent acne from getting worse. Oily creams and lotions may cause more irritation and increases infection.
- Breast feeding mothers should take extra effort to pick nutritious diet for the baby.
- Baby’s clothes should be washed in mild detergent soap to prevent irritation
- Do not try any over-the-counter acne preparations without checking with the pediatrician. In rare cases, topical acne medications are recommended by the child’s doctor to treat baby acne.
Prevention of acne in young children/babies:
There is little one can do to prevent baby acne. But, efforts can be made to prevent baby acne from getting worse.
1. Avoiding harsh chemicals while washing baby’s clothes can prevent the baby acne condition from getting worse.
2. Keeping the baby clean by removing any food particles, including milk from the face, helps prevent baby acne from getting worse.
Young kids with acne:
Young kids normally enjoy crystal clear skin until they reach puberty. But, researchers state that eighty percent of pre-teens will get acne as part of the normal maturing process. Although this cannot be prevented, young kids can take simple steps to treat and minimize their acne.
Acne treatment for children includes a variety of over-the-counter preparations like benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid preparations. In case of bad, persistent, or stubborn acne, stronger topical preparations or antibiotics are prescribed by the physician.
Acne skin problem is not uncommon in babies and children. Baby acne can be present during birth, but often it shows up after a few weeks. Many parents are alarmed over the red rash on their new born face. However, baby acne is harmless and goes away quickly without any treatment.