When most of us think about babies, we picture soft, smooth skin. For most babies, this fits perfectly with their complexions, but for some infants, skin disorders can be a reality. Although baby acne isn’t commonly discussed or widely known about, some babies do develop the condition a couple of months after they are born.
Baby acne, also known as acne neonatorum, usually only affects the facial area, and specifically the baby’s cheeks. Sometimes, the condition can cause blackheads, papules, or pustules to form on the skin. Understandably, parents can be very disturbed or upset about their baby developing this condition, but most of the time, the symptoms disappear when the child reaches six months of age.
Usually, baby acne issues are caused by hormonal imbalances. After all, pregnancy exposes a baby to a high level of hormones. When the baby is born, his body has to quickly adjust and develop regular hormone levels. This adjustment process can sometimes cause acne issues. However, baby acne does not cause scarring, and the baby’s skin will be unblemished once the condition has passed.
It’s been proven that baby boys are more likely to have baby acne than baby girls. This is a predictable fact, since boys will have much lower estrogen levels in their bodies. Also, while the baby’s body continues to adjust to changes in hormone levels, acne problems may go away, come back, then go away again.
It is important not to get upset if your baby develops baby acne, since the problem is, once again, fairly common among babies. Actually, about 20% of newborns will have some kind of acne neonatorum as they grow. Remember, you should only worry about your baby’s comfort, as baby acne won’t leave any long-term effects.
A lot of parents end up putting lotions or oils on their baby’s faces to cover up baby acne. However, this should be discouraged, as it can actually worsen or prolong the problem. Instead, try to stick to a mild soap and warm water to keep your baby’s face clean.
The only reason to consult a doctor is if your baby’s acne becomes severe. The physician will examine your baby, and might end up prescribing benzoyl peroxide or retinoid cream to help with the symptoms. Again, it’s important to consult a physician before using these products, as they should only be used as a last resort.
If your baby suffers from baby acne and you become troubled that he or she is experiencing discomfort, there are over-the-counter ways to treat the condition. A lot of physicians have recommended anti-itch creams, as long as they are used sparingly.
Keep in mind that excessive application of lotions and creams can hurt your baby’s skin. Your baby’s skin is very delicate and applying too much lotion or cream on it too often can cause peeling, redness or worse, rashes. That’s why you should be very patient when dealing with baby acne. As mentioned earlier, baby acne will disappear with time, as your baby ages.