How to treat baby acne

Baby acne, otherwise known as infant acne or milk rash, is something which commonly appears on the faces of newborn babies, through to the age of seven months old. While it may come as a shock – most people think acne only occurs on teenagers or young adults – it is not a major issue as it usually only lasts a few weeks, or in some cases a few months, and is easily treated.

Baby acne usually affects the cheeks but can also spread to the forehead and chin. You will notice your babies skin is bumpy, blotchy and could be a light pink colour. Unlike acne on teenagers or young adults, it is not flaky or scaly.

It is still somewhat not exactly known as to why babies experience acne, however there are a few reasons which seem to be common causes. For example, if your baby has acne as a newborn it is quite likely due to a reaction to medications you were taking whilst pregnant or hormones that were passed on during your pregnancy. If your child has developed acne after birth it is quite likely to be a reaction to medication he/she is taking or a reaction to skin care products. Alternatively, it could be a number of other things, not yet known.

Typically, baby acne should clear up naturally after a few weeks, however, if it is persistent – say over two months – it is advised to see a skin care specialists, such as ourselves, or your local doctor.

Before seeing a skin care specialist or a doctor, there are a few things you can try yourself, and there are also a few things which you must not do. Washing your child’s face with warm water once or twice a day – very gently of course – should help immensely, however do not use face products or scrub the skin, if you are too forceful it will just make it worse. Alongside this it is important that you do not put any lotions or oils on the affected areas as again, this will only make it worse, neither should you use any over the counter acne treatments, if they have not been prescribed by a professional. Other things you can do is to keep your child from touching or scratching their face, apply baby powder to the affected spots with a cotton ball or consider changing your diet if you are breastfeeding.

At the end of the day, baby acne shouldn’t cause any discomfort to your child and it should clear up within a few weeks. However, if you do notice that it is getting worse or if it is very persistent and looks to be developing into something else, organise an appointment with a specialist right away.