How to Treat Baby Acne
Baby acne is a very common condition that normally develops during the first month of life. According to Alan Greene MD FAAP, baby acne is not contagious and develops in response to maternal hormones circulating in the infant's body. While parents are often concerned about the red pimples caused by baby acne, the condition is harmless and usually disappears on its own within weeks or months. In some cases, however, it may linger for much longer and require treatment.
Wait and see if your baby's acne clears up without treatment. Nearly all cases of infant acne disappear by the age of six months, according to Alan Greene MD FAAP.
Wash your baby's skin using mild cleanser or only warm water. Baby acne is not caused by dirt, and using harsh soaps can actually increase irritation and make baby acne worse, according to the Mayo Clinic. Do not scrub your baby's skin. Gently pat him dry after bath time.
Avoid using oils and oil-based moisturizers and creams on your baby's skin. These products can make baby acne worse. Use water-based moisturizers when necessary.
Call your infant's pediatrician for an appointment if your baby's acne appears very irritated, itches, or begins to spread or scale. These symptoms may indicate the presence of another condition, such as eczema, or they may point to an infection that requires treatment with antibiotics.
Use infant laundry detergent designed for babies with sensitive skin or allergies. Detergents can irritate the skin and cause or worsen baby acne. You can also try adding an additional rinse to your wash cycle.
Never use adult acne products on infants, even those that claim to be mild. These products can cause severe irritation when applied to your baby's sensitive skin, and some of the chemicals in these creams may be absorbed into your baby's system, resulting in potentially serious illness.
Ask your baby's pediatrician about prescription acne medications if your baby's acne is severe or persists longer than six months. According to the Mayo Clinic, several medicated creams and ointments are available that are effective at clearing up some cases of baby acne.
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