Acne is a dreaded condition in adolescence as well as adulthood, but did you know that there is something known as neonatal acne or newborn baby acne as well? Yes: even babies are known to breakout and get pimples and pustules.
In this guide, we shall discuss a few facts related to newborn baby acne and also a few home remedies that can help clear this condition.
What is neonatal acne?
As the name suggests, neonatal acne or newborn baby acne occurs in the first few weeks or months of a baby’s life. Typically, this type of acne occurs on the forehead, cheeks and chin. Neonatal acne is more common in baby boys than in girls. Dermatologists attribute this to male hormone simulation of the sebaceous glands that have not shrunken to their ‘immature childhood state’.
Infantile acne is a serious form of neonatal acne, appearing in the first three to four months of the baby’s life. It consists of blackheads and whiteheads along with pimples and pustules. In some severe cases, cystic lesions may also be present which can lead to permanent scarring.
Milder cases of infantile acne and newborn baby acne fade away on their own after a few weeks. The more serious cases can take up to a year to disappear completely. Some forms of acne can even persist all the way up to adolescence.
Babies with neonatal acne tend to have a strong family background of acne. While there is no scientific evidence supporting their theory, many pediatricians and a few dermatologists are of the opinion that children with newborn baby acne are at higher risks for breaking out in their adolescent years. Hence, many pediatricians advise parents to have their children monitored closely by dermatologists in order to prevent complications and scarring at the onset of puberty.
Newborn and neonatal acne solutions
As stated above, mild cases of newborn baby acne fade away by themselves. The treatment must be determined based on the severity of the condition. More severe cases may need medical intervention and therapy, some of which actually consists of the same medications as those used for treating teenage acne.
- Some pediatricians are of the opinion that breastfed babies are at a higher risk of developing neonatal acne than bottle-fed ones (owing to hormones present in the mother’s milk). This form of acne is called ‘acne neonatum or breastfeeding acne’ which generally disappears on its own.
- Contrary to this is the commonly used home remedy for soothing redness and inflammation of newborn baby acne. This home remedy actually consists of application of mother’s milk on the child’s acne. Many mothers believe that doing so helps soothe the acne and clear it up faster.
- Another important home remedy for treating neonatal acne is washing the baby’s delicate skin using powdered oats and water. Oats have natural ingredients that help soothe inflammation and bring down the redness.
- Parents must refrain from using harsh skin care products for bathing the child when acne is present. It is best to use gentle baby wipes, if required, to wipe the baby’s face.
- Your doctor might recommend mild steroid (hydrocortisone) based creams or benzoyl peroxide based washes and gels for treating severe cases of newborn baby acne.
These are a few methods of treating neonatal acne and newborn baby acne. As mentioned before, severe cases of blisters and pimples in babies must not be ignored as they could be signs of Herpes Simplex or other medical conditions that may need immediate medical attention.