You’ve likely dealt with a newborn with baby acne, but do you remember the remedies you used to help it go away? And did you ever think about why it was there in the first place? Below are a few facts about baby acne, and suggestions on how to help your baby with his/her acne.
What is it?Plain and simple – it’s just what it sounds like: acne on newborns and infants. Acne is technically itty bitty hair follicles that are clogged up.
Why does it show up?Most specialists are convinced that babies get acne for the same reason teenagers and adults do: hormones. To be more specific, these hormones are typically from Mom; either from being in the womb or from drinking breast milk. Some also suggest that baby acne could be a result of an imbalance of probiotics inside of the baby’s stomach. Probiotics are good bacteria that help with digestion, but it sometimes takes babies a little bit of time to balance out this helpful bacteria.
When does baby acne occur?Baby acne can occur at any time during the first six months of life. However, there is a “sweet spot”, between two and four weeks old, where it may become especially apparent. Most baby acne goes away on its own within a few days to a few weeks.
What to do about it?
Most of the time, baby acne won’t be severe enough for the need to recruit outside help. Even in severe cases, your baby’s pediatrician may still recommend that nothing medicated be used on your baby’s delicate face until a little later on. So in the meantime, try some of these suggestions and see if you can find something that may help!
Gentle daily face washing. Using a mild soap and a gentle washcloth, delicately wash your baby’s face once every day (no scrubbing, that wont help here). This can occur during bath time or at any point during the day. Be sure to thoroughly rinse the face of all soap residue when finished. And another key part of this washing is to properly and completely dry the face as well.
Avoid many lotions. It isn’t advisory to put lotion on a baby’s face because 1. you’re at a high risk of getting it into baby’s eyes, and 2. many lotions are simply too harsh for a baby’s delicate skin, especially on their faces. When putting lotion on other parts of the body, always make sure to use a lotion that is specifically for infants and babies.
Try the Breast milk trick. Bear with me here, many moms say this works like a charm! Express a drop or two of breast milk onto your baby’s face (avoid the eyes!) and gently rub it onto the portions of the face where the acne is most prominent. Breast milk contains lauric acid; this fatty component is antibacterial and therefore has the potential to fight acne. As weird as it sounds, give it a try! Plus, you can definitely use this trick on yourself for the same results!
Do not pick at it. I like to think that this is pretty self-explanatory and that I shouldn’t have to type it out. But I also can’t relate with people who are “pickers”, so maybe I simply don’t understand the temptation. So whether you’re tempted or not…DON’T pick at or “pop” baby acne! Not only is this painful and unnecessary, but the oils that may come out of one pimple will likely get on Baby’s face and this spreading oil has the potential to cause even more acne. Plus, baby acne scars don’t necessarily exist, but if enough picking is performed, scars may become a possibility.