Baby Acne

Baby acne is a typical, transient skin condition that results in acne outbreaks on your baby's chest or face. Baby acne symptoms include pimples, little lumps, or pustules on your baby's skin, much like adult acne symptoms do. The typical duration is from a few days to a few weeks. Newborn acne, neonatal acne, or neonatal cephalic pustulosis are the other names for infant acne.

What Distinguishes Infantile Acne and Acne in Babies?

Infantile acne and baby acne both have the same symptoms, however, baby acne affects your kid differently. Around two weeks of age, infants typically develop acne. Some newborns are born with acne, but it usually fades away in a few weeks. Infantile acne can develop between the ages of two and one. Blackheads are another sign of infantile acne in addition to pustules and bumps.

Visit a doctor if your child develops acne after the age of two months. Infantile acne could take longer to go away.

Baby Acne: Causes

It is uncertain what specifically causes infant acne. Clogged pores are frequently the cause of acne. A pimple can form when your pores get clogged.

The hormonal changes that your infant experiences throughout pregnancy or the first few weeks of life are thought to be the cause of baby acne, according to medical professionals. The placenta's hormones can alter how much sebum your unborn child's skin generates. Your baby's skin's sebaceous glands produce sebum, an oily material, to protect their skin and hair. Acne can result from pores being clogged with sebum.

Babies skin is further delicate after they are born. Anything left on their skin for too long, especially if they have food, vomit, or drool residue, may cause their skin to react unfavorably.

Your baby's hormones might be impacted by the hormones in breast milk (chest milk) from the birthing parent, which could result in acne. Baby acne is a skin ailment that only lasts a short time and usually goes away on its own. You shouldn't let this change how you feed your infant. As your infant grows and their body acclimates to its new surroundings, the baby’s acne will go away. Speak with your healthcare professional if you have any concerns about how your breast milk (chest milk) will impact your baby's skin.

When your kid is first born, giving them kisses on the cheeks won't make them break out in pimples. Baby acne is typically brought on by hormonal fluctuations that temporarily block their pores.

Baby Acne: Symptoms

Baby acne can appear on your baby's skin before they become two months old or be present from birth. It might resemble minor teenage or adult acne in appearance. Baby acne characteristics include −

  • Small, swollen, red to purple lumps (papules).

  • Pus-filled bumps encircled by a dark brown or reddish-purple ring (pustules).

When your infant cries, their acne could be easier to see. If they have infant acne, they also won't have blackheads.

On your child's face, chest, and back, baby acne is typical. It can specifically impact your baby's −

  • Cheeks

  • Nose

  • Forehead

  • Chin

  • Scalp

  • Neck

Phases of Infant Acne

Baby acne can develop gradually or unexpectedly. Before becoming elevated pimples, pimples on their skin might begin as little, discolored spots. The size of the pimples also decreases as the inflammation diminishes. The zits are transient and often disappear in a few days to a few weeks. Your baby's skin won't have any blemishes when the pimples go.

Risk Factors

The major risk factors include −

  • Irritants on dry skin

  • Heat

  • Illness from sweating

Baby Acne: Diagnosis

Your baby's skin can be examined by a medical professional to diagnose infant acne. This condition can be diagnosed without testing. You don't need a diagnosis from a healthcare professional for this benign ailment unless you're worried about how the acne is impacting your baby's skin or if they exhibit further symptoms.

Baby Acne: Treatment

Baby acne is a transient ailment that clears up on its own. Because every baby's skin is unique, the following treatments could be suggested by their healthcare provider −

  • A topical antifungal cream similar to ketoconazole.

  • A topical steroid of modest potency, similar to hydrocortisone.

These can be used on your baby's skin in the same way that lotion or moisturizer would. By your doctor's recommendations, apply these drugs to your baby's skin as directed.

Before applying any products to your baby's acne, see your baby's doctor. Home treatments occasionally have the potential to irritate your baby's tender skin.

By caring for your newborn's skin, you may assist your baby's acne in clearing up. This could comprise −

  • Use warm water to gently wash your baby's skin. Do not scrub their skin. Next, pat the skin of your infant dry.

  • Avoid using lotions, oils, or other things that could clog your baby's pores to their skin.

  • Any food crumbs or vomit that get up on your baby's skin should be cleaned up very away.

After a few weeks, if your baby's acne doesn't clear up or if it becomes worse, call their doctor.

Baby acne may go away on its own in a matter of days to weeks. If a doctor suggests a topical drug, the recovery time can be shorter. Baby acne can occasionally take up to a month to go away. Speak with your baby's healthcare professional if the acne isn't going away.

Baby Acne: Prevention

There is no way to stop infant acne. Your newborn's acne can be cleared up by −

  • Gently bathes their skin with warm water at least once every day.

  • After your baby has completed feeding, wipe off any food remnants from their face.

  • Avoid applying oily skincare items to your baby's skin.

  • Not popping or squeezing acne on your child's skin.

  • Every day, wash your baby's face. Every day, use warm water to wash your baby's face. Use water with a gentle, moisturizing face soap one day and plain water the next.

  • Gently pat dry your infant's face. To dry your baby's skin, pat it.

  • Do not apply oils, ointments, or lotions. These items will probably worsen infant acne.


A harmless skin ailment called baby acne will go away on its own. There are no problems from the illness, and it doesn't call for medical attention. Your baby's spots can take a few weeks to clear up. Scarring is unlikely to occur, and after the acne has cleared up, your baby's skin will be smooth.

The skin on your infant should not be scrubbed as this might irritate it. Make sure that greasy skincare items like lotions don't make your baby's acne worse. Just gently wash your baby's skin with warm water, and then pat their skin dry. Your baby's skin will entirely clean up in a matter of days to weeks.

Dr. Durgesh Kumar Sinha
Dr. Durgesh Kumar Sinha


Updated on: 03-Mar-2023


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