Baby Acne on the Ears & in the Hair
Pimple-like bumps appearing on a baby's face or body can cause distress for many parents, according to Dr. Anil Predhan, a pediatrician in Bradford, Pennsylvania. While baby acne may be the culprit, many other rashes could cause the bumps. Dr. Predhan advises that a doctor must look at the "pimples" to make a proper diagnosis. He advises consulting your pediatrician and learning more about baby acne before worrying too much about the "pimples."
Two main types of baby acne exist, neonatal acne and infantile acne, according to Skinsight.com. Neonatal acne affects babies during the first month of life. Typically, this form of acne only affects the face. Infantile acne usually affects babies between the ages of 3 months and 16 months of age. Infantile acne causes more lesions and is often more severe.
Baby acne appears as red bumps on your baby's face, according to Drexel University College of Medicine. Some of these bumps may have white dots in the center of them. The pimples may appear worse when your baby becomes hot or fussy, according to the Baby Center. Saliva, spit-up, milk, or rough fabric can also irritate your baby's skin, making acne worse. Dr. Predhan says baby acne usually affects the nose, forehead and cheeks, but may affect other areas, as well. He states that when "pimples" appear in other areas such as on the ears or in the hair, they could be the result of seborrheic dermatitis, also known as cradle cap. Other rashes that can cause the development of "pimples" include transient neonatal pustular melanosis, milia, and miliaria.
The actual cause of baby acne remains unknown, according to Skinsight.com. However, it may be the result of hormones released by the mother during the final stages of pregnancy. These hormones often stimulate facial glands to produce excess oil, called sebum. Boys get baby acne more often then females, according to MayoClinic.com. Seldom is baby acne a sign of a hormonal problem.
Since baby acne tends to go away within a few weeks without any treatment, doctors usually do not advise medical treatment, according to Dr. Predhan. However, some baby acne lasts for months or even years. Most baby acne disappears by 3 years of age. If the acne seems severe or does not go away within a few months, your baby's doctor may prescribe a medicated cream or test for possible underlying hormonal conditions.
While you wait for your baby's acne to heal, take proper care of your baby's skin. Rinse your baby's face with warm water two to three times each day, advises MayoClinic.com. You can use a mild facial soap two to three times a week, but do not over-cleanse your baby's face or it can make acne worse. When drying your baby's face, simply pat it dry. Never pinch, scratch or scrub skin affected by baby acne. This can lead to irritation or infection. Resist using oils or lotions on your baby's skin, as it can also make acne worse.
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