Many parents get extremely disappointed and upset when their newborn face breaks out giving rise to red bumps.
This is called baby acne also known as acne neonatorum, which is a normal condition that affects about 20% of newborn babies. This type of skin condition usually appears at the time of birth or within 3-4 weeks after the birth and is more commonly observed among baby boys. The red pimples usually occur on the cheeks of the baby but are sometimes observed on the forehead and chin as well. Sometimes with these pimples you will observe white heads as well. The acne in newborn occurs as a result of reaction of baby's skin to male (androgenic) and female (estrogenic) hormones after the delivery. During last months of pregnancy a mother passes a lot of things to the baby including calcium, iron, hormones etc. These hormones cross the placenta into your baby causing the oil glands on the skin to form bumps that looks like pimples. Hormones are also passed to the new born during breast-feeding. One can also observe sign of baby acne in the form of rashes that appear on the baby skin after birth but get worse within couple of weeks. This type of acne is not at all painful and also does not require any sort of treatment. Treatment is only required to reduce irritating and itching. It usually goes away when the baby is 4-6 months old or is no more on breast-feeding as this makes the baby free of hormones.
Baby acne is most prominent when the infant is hot or fussy (increased blood flow to the skin), when the skin is irritated, it comes into contact with cloth washed in harsh detergents, or when the baby becomes wet from spit-up saliva or milk. These things can worsen the condition of baby acne for several days. Some parents try to treat this problem with oils and lotions, which are not at all advisable as sometimes they further aggravate the condition of acne.
Following are few things you can do to make your newly born free of Baby acne:
1.Keep noticing signs of baby acne on cheeks, forehead and chin of the infant. You may also observe them at the back of some babies as well.
2.Try to keep the area around the mouth of the baby clean and dry because this can further aggravate the condition.
3.The parents should wear soft fabric clothes that are washed in natural detergent because the acne can get worse while holding the baby against your clothing.
4.Avoid overheating as this may give rise to futher acne breakouts.
5.Use a mild baby soap to wash your baby's face once a day but do not scrub as this may lead to irritation and itching.
6.Wash your baby's cloth with chemical-free detergents that are especially made for infants.
7.Avoid using oils and lotions as these can make baby acne worse or if necessary use natural product especially made for babies.
8.You can cover the ugly pimples on your baby's face with the help of natural concealer especially made for sensitive skin.
9.Consult a pediatrician if the acne is severe or lasts beyond 6 months.
10.Avoid using milk formula containing soymilk because it includes very high concentration of hormone mimicking ingredients, which sometimes induce effects of puberty at a very early age. These include effects like breast development and pubic hair growth.
11.Avoid oils or other topical remedies.
Baby acne is different from Milia or Miliaria acne that are usually present on the face of your baby at birth causing redness on the skin. This usually develops within first few weeks and disappears within two weeks. Milia occur as a result of warming of the baby by an incubator, occlusive dressings, clothing, or fever. This also does not require any treatment and goes away with preventive measures such as reduce sweating, loose clothing and cool baths.
There is another type of acne known as infantile acne that develops when the baby is 3 months or older. This is different from baby acne, which occurs immediately after the birth. Although the main cause of infantile acne is also maternal hormone but unlike baby acne this is more severe giving rise to papules, pustules, blackheads and white heads on the face especially nose and cheeks. Infantile acne takes a bit longer to disappear usually when the child is12 months old but the more severe ones do not go until the baby is 3 years old depending on genetics. Like neonatal acne or baby acne, usually no treatment is needed to cure infantile acne.
Baby acne is not a condition to worry about. The only way to deal with this problem is to remain patient and wait for the right time as it usually resolves on its own and goes away within a few weeks.
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