We’ve all been just as shocked as you are right now. What do you mean my perfect cherub has zits? I thought we had another decade at least before we had to deal with any pimples! Right off the bat, here’s the good news: infant acne, also known as neonatal acne, doesn’t come with the mood swings and hormones that are customary of teenage acne. But don’t panic, your little isn’t the only baby seemingly hitting an early puberty within their first few weeks. Here’s the 411 on baby acne and how to treat it.
What Is Baby Acne?
Just like teenagers, baby acne is mainly caused by hormones – just not their own. For now, mom is to blame. Maternal hormones from pregnancy can still be floating around baby’s bloodstream and stimulate your little one’s oil producing glands, causing pimples to pop up. Baby acne typically appears on the cheeks and nose, but it can present anywhere on the skin. But again, don’t worry! Infant acne is common, affecting 20-40% of newborns, and typically clears up within a few weeks.
How Do I Treat Baby Acne?
Unfortunately, there’s no overnight fix to banish those pimples before a family photoshoot. Baby acne tends to clear up on its own with time, so no need to follow a strict treatment regimen. While there’s no magic cure, you can follow these tips to keep blemishes to a minimum:
- Don’t squeeze, pick at, or scrub pimples
- Never use adult acne treatments
- Wash skin with warm (not hot!) water and pat dry
Is This Actually Baby Acne?
Baby acne presents as red pimples that aren’t itchy and don’t cause baby any discomfort. If you’re not sure what you’re seeing is acne, here are a few other common skin conditions to be on the lookout for:
- Milia – tiny whiteheads or white bumps
- Infant Heat Rash – tiny red bumps that itch and cause baby discomfort
- Cradle Cap – tiny red bumps (smaller than pimples) usually accompanied by yellow, flaky skin
- Infant Eczema – dry, flaky patches of skin on the cheeks and scalp
If you’re worried about anything you’re seeing on your little one’s skin, always consult your pediatrician.