When most people think of acne, they immediately think of an oily-faced, hormonally imbalanced teenager. Of course, there is good reason for this and that is quite simply that this is the age when acne is most prominent. There is absolutely no denying this fact. However, this is not to suggest that acne is exclusively a teen problem. Many adults are stricken with pimples all throughout their lives, and guess what… so are babies.
On babies, acne generally manifests itself as tiny red bumps on the chin, cheeks, and forehead. This usually occurs within the first few months of the baby’s life, and is made worse by heat, direct sunlight, and stress (and babies are actually stressed a lot!). Occasionally, little white bumps will manifest, as well. This condition is known as milia.
The main cause of baby acne is a change in the hormonal levels that takes place during the pregnancy. This skin problem is known to affect boys, rather than girls. Despite being defined as a hormonal change, baby acne must not be confused with hormonal problems. Baby acne is generally caused by hormonal changes that occur during the pregnancy. The condition almost always occurs in boys, and very rarely with girls.
While there is very little, if anything that can be done to prevent baby acne from happening, there are a few treatment options you can consider. Of course, these are very limited and often you will just need to wait it out. Bathe your child normally, paying particular attention to the face. You definitely want to resist any urges to scrub or squeeze the acne. The baby’s skin is far too delicate at this point, and this can cause an infection.
Keep your baby as clean as possible and dry the skin thoroughly. This is a situation that will take some patience to get through, although if it happens to persist for more than 3 months, it may be a good idea to take your baby in to see a podiatrist, who may recommend further treatment options. And in more severe cases where the problem worsens or does not seem to improve at all, you should see your family physician for a potentially more aggressive solution.
Since this is not a very serious skin problem, it is better to wait for it to go away on its own rather than to use topical or oral drugs that are meant for teenagers and adults who suffer from acne. Some parents decide to use home remedies for baby acne, such as a solution based on vinegar. In addition, there are many creams that are based on this vinegar solution.
Thankfully, this is not usually a serious condition, though it may be aggravating to your baby from time to time. As such, you would be wise to stay away from chemically-laden topical solutions, since your baby’s skin is so delicate. Give it time, and it is almost certain to clear up on its own.