It’s disheartening for you, as a new mom, to see little white or red spots on your baby’s face. These are usually baby acne – baby pimples. Although it’s not something you want to see, it’s actually not usually something you need to be worried about. Baby acne is common and temporary. It usually clears up within several weeks to a few months.
What are Baby Pimples?
Baby acne is most common in infants and newborns. The typically white bumps are small, and surrounded by raised, red skin. The bumps will appear more noticeable when your baby is fussy or crying. Acne in babies may be irritated or exacerbated by spit-up, saliva and any fabrics that have been washed using strong detergents.
Some infants are actually born with a case of acne. In most cases, though, the pimples will show up in the first month after birth. Acne may come and go up until your baby is about six months of age. Babies’ acne occurs on their foreheads, cheeks, chins and backs. They look painful, but they actually don’t cause your baby any discomfort.
Tiny White Facial Bumps – Milia
If your baby had tiny little bumps on her cheeks or forehead when she was born, but they were gone before she was a month old, this is actually milia, and it is not related to acne. Milia is often confused with acne, but they are not even related conditions.
Milia may affect nearly 40% of newborns. This skin condition of babies develops when dead skin becomes trapped in pockets in the surface of the skin. It will disappear once all the dead cells have sloughed off.
What are the Causes of Baby Acne?
Baby acne is brought on by changes in hormones that occurred near the end of your pregnancy. In your final trimester, your hormones cross the placental barrier to your child. This may stimulate your baby’s oil glands and lead to acne. Some medications can cause baby acne too, if you use them when you are breastfeeding. Baby acne is more commonly seen in boys than in girls.
How Long Does Baby Acne Last?
Baby acne generally clears up within several weeks of a breakout. It can sometimes stay around for a few months, though. If, after three months’ time, your baby still has pimples, or if the acne concerns you, consult your pediatrician. In some rare cases, acne in babies is linked to hormonal problems.
Some babies have acne from the age of three weeks to about six months of age. It occurs at roughly the same time as the peak of the baby’s fussiness and gas production.
Eczema in Babies
Some babies develop skin conditions that look like baby acne, and some of these won’t go away on their own, as acne will. Infant eczema is a common babies’ skin problem. It generally occurs between one and five months.
Baby eczema shows up as red patches and bumps on various parts of the body. It often affects both of a baby’s cheeks, and it can appear elsewhere, as well. Some babies have this rash over their whole bodies.
Some babies who have eczema also have allergies, like milk allergies, but in other cases, there is no obvious cause. Some babies outgrow eczema, and others may have difficulties all through their childhood years. It is treated using moisturizing products, and more severe cases can be treated with prescription ointments or steroid creams.
Baby Acne Treatment
It’s understandable that, as a parent, you want to help clear up your baby’s acne. But the best treatment is just to leave the pimples alone. They will usually go away on their own.
Resist the temptation to put lotions or creams on your baby’s pimples. This only aggravates the acne. It is not dirt-related, so scrubbing won’t help, either. That will just irritate your baby’s skin even more. Washing too frequently may also irritate your baby’s skin.
If your child’s acne is a severe case, or lasts more than six months, your pediatrician can subscribe mild medicines. In normal cases though, your baby’s oil glands will, without help, clear up. You won’t see pimples again until your little one is a teen.
If you want to help the acne to clear, one natural remedy is breast milk, which is nature’s most wonderful food. It has antimicrobial properties that ease clogged tear ducts and cradle cap. In addition, some mothers feel that breast milk is helpful in clearing up baby acne. It doesn’t cost anything and it’s always available, so some moms rub just a bit on their babies’ pimples. This may or may not help get rid of baby acne, but the acne will clear itself within about six months, anyway.
The good news for parents is that baby acne zits will be clear in a few months, and they won’t leave pock marks, like teenage acne can. After the baby acne has cleared, your little one will once again have baby-perfect skin.