Baby acne is a common harmless skin rash that affects healthy new-born babies.
What causes baby acne?
The exact cause is unknown. It is not caused by a microbial infection, despite the fact thatpustuleswith pus are often present. Various theories exist, one of which supports that it is a normal or inflammatory response of the immune system of infants. It has not been demonstrated to be an allergic reaction. In addition, it is not associated with breast-feeding.
How common is baby acne?
It is very common. About 3 up to 7 in 10 babies develop acne. It seems to be more common in term babies (between 37 and 40 weeks of gestation) as compared to pre-term babies.
When could baby acne appear?
It usually appears in babies between 3 and 14 days old. The rash may appear during the first 48 hours after birth, but in 9 of 10 cases it appears in babies after the first 2 days of birth. It seems to be more common in baby boys. In addition, it is more common among babies with greater weight at birth, as well as babies fed with formula or mixed diet.
How does baby acne look?
Baby acne presents with red spots that mainly affect the face and the upper part of the body (torso). It may also affect the arms and the legs, but it is very rare on the hands and feet.
Papules are common. Sometimes pustules with pus or liquid may also develop. A larger or smaller number of spots may be present with different sizes. The rash may be temporary, while sometimes individual spots may disappear in a few hours.
The baby is in good condition and the rash does not seem to cause irritation.
How can baby acne be treated?
There is no specific treatment for baby acne. The rash usually disappears as time goes by without any treatment.
What can I do?
Avoid excessive bathing of your baby; babies have sensitive skin that can be easily dehydrated. Avoid squeezing any pimple with pus because skin infection is likely to occur. Creams and lotions are not required for the rash. Make sure that your baby’s care products are perfume-free and always use products specially designed for babies.
How long does baby acne last?
Usually, the rash is present for only a few days. In almost all cases, the rash will disappear within a couple of weeks. Rarely the rash may recur (relapse). This may occur up to the age of 6 weeks. The recurrences are usually mild. In more severe or persistent cases, you should visit a dermatologist for clinical examination and specialised treatment.