Skin Care

What Is Baby Acne? – Symptoms, Precautions, And More

1. How to Get Rid of Baby Acne?

Baby acne (or newborn acne) is a harmless skin condition in the child’s first weeks of life. It usually does not require any treatment and disappears again after a while.

 Short Version:

  • Baby acne occurs in the first weeks of life and mainly affects male newborns.
  • Affected babies have red pimples with yellowish nodules on their faces.
  • About every fifth baby develops newborn acne.
  • The cause of baby acne is a hormonal change after birth.
  • Newborn acne usually does not need to be treated and does not leave scars.

If reddish pimples with yellowish nodules appear in the baby in the first weeks of life, one speaks of newborn acne and baby acne.

The rash is harmless and disappears on its own without leaving any scars. Newborn acne appears mostly on the face but can also extend to the chest.

The rash is widespread, affecting every fifth baby, boys more often than girls.

2. How Does Newborn Acne Develop?

The cause of newborn acne is the hormonal change in the baby after birth. This hormone change temporarily causes an erroneous production of the sebum glands. In essence, there is an overproduction of sebum, which clogs pores, pimples are the result. Warmth or improper skin care can intensify baby acne.

3. What Are the Symptoms of Baby Acne?

reddish pimples with yellow nodules in the middle

It is particularly evident on the cheeks, less often on the forehead and chin.

4. Difference to Atopic Eczema

Newborn acne and so-called atopic eczema have a similar appearance. The following features can distinguish them:

Newborn acne Atopy
in the first weeks of life between the 3rd and 6th month of life
no treatment necessary / heals itself needs to be treated in many cases
doesn’t itch itches
no scarring scarring can occur

Another skin change that is very common in newborns is semolina (milia). A hormone change also triggers this.

The small, white dots mainly appear on the nose, cheeks, forehead, chin, and around the eyes. They usually disappear on their own after a few weeks without treatment.

5. How Does the Doctor Make a Diagnosis?

The first point of contact for skin rashes in newborns or babies is the paediatrician. The doctor can make a diagnosis based on the symptoms and, if necessary, initiate treatment.

6. How is Newborn Acne Treated?

Newborn acne usually requires no special treatment, and it disappears after a few weeks or months without any action.

7. What Can Parents Do About Newborn Acne?

  1. Under no circumstances should you squeeze out the pimples! It can lead to inflammation and scars.
  2. Clean the affected areas carefully with lukewarm water.
  3. Make sure that creams are free of preservatives and perfumes and use them sparingly.
  4. Less is more! Extreme care can make acne worse.
  5. Pay attention to breathable clothing to avoid further skin irritation.
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