Parenting Babycare

Baby Acne - Causes & Prevention Tips

Ambili S Kartha
0 to 1 years

Created by Ambili S Kartha
Updated on Oct 11, 2021

Baby Acne Causes Prevention Tips
Reviewed by Expert panel

Pimples may have troubled you when you are in your teens (even now). What if your infant develops tiny blisters all over his or her face? Surely it will not be a good experience. However, Baby acne, sometimes referred to as milk rash or newborn acne, is common in infants, (baby acne can occur in 70% of babies. Around 40% newborns contract baby acne). Most of these baby acne will resolve itself, unlike the pimples that troubled you throughout your teens. Here are some quick facts about baby acne:

  • Baby acne is not dangerous and there will be no scarring
  • Baby acne can get worse occasionally
  • Baby acne is not itchy
The above facts are not enough to clear all your doubts. Still, there will be a lot of questions in your mind. This article will help you to know more about baby acne.

What Is Baby Acne?

Baby acne refers to yellow or white-headed blisters that appear on the baby's skin that is more often surrounded by red skin. Baby acne looks like red bumps or pimples with the red skin surrounding them just similar to a teen ager's pimple

What Are The Types Of Baby Acne?

There are two types of baby acne:
  1. Neonatal acne

    This type of baby acne occurs in newborn babies (0 to 3 months). Neonatal acne appears as red to pinkish lesions. This type of baby acne will have no head and do not stick out as a bump. Mostly appear on the face (more concentrated in cheeks). It is relatively mild and usually resolves in due course
  2. Infantile acne

    This type of baby acne appears on babies older than three months. Infantile acne appears as reddish bumps. This type of acne is severer than neonatal acne. The lesions can become sore and can result in scarring. This type of baby acne can create discomfort for the baby, as it gives rise to itchy or prickly feeling. This type of baby acne may require treatment

Where Does Baby Acne Appear?

90% baby acne is found to be limited to the face, more often to be found in forehead, chin, and cheeks. However, some babies may develop baby acne on chest, back and even on the scalp.

What Causes Baby Acne?

An important cause of baby acne is hormones. Yes, you read it right. Just like during teens your hormone triggers pimples, your own hormone is the villain when it comes to your newborn's acne as well. During the final weeks of gestation, the mother's hormones enter the baby's bloodstream through the placenta. This will be still circulating in the bloodstream of the baby. These hormones sometimes stimulate the oil glands in the skin of the baby, giving rise to pimples. Sometimes the skin of the baby may devoid of fully formed skin pores. These partially formed pores can be a reason for baby acne as it can be bunged more easily, thereby, developing pimple.

What Are The Factors That Aggravate Baby Acne?

When the baby acne always gets contact with the following things can increase the irritation due to baby acne:
  • Spit-up saliva or vomit, which is very common at this age
  • Formula milk
  • Breast milk
  • Rubbing against rough fabrics and synthetic fabrics
  • Fabrics washed with strong detergents
  • Strongly scented baby cream, lotions, powder, and soap

How To Get Rid Of Baby Acne?

Even though baby acne more often goes away its own, you should take care of some factors:
  1. Keep baby's skin clean:

    Wash baby's face and body with warm water. Always use a mild soap. Skip the lotion part after a bath. If needed, in case baby's skin appears too dry, use a fragrance-free, hypoallergenic moisturizer. This will help to keep the baby's skin healthy
  2. Never scrub:

    While bathing, and drying, never scrub the baby's skin, how much ever smooth the baby towel is. Scrubbing can break the skin, aggravate acne, and increase the risk of infections
  3. Never squeeze:

    Never irritate your baby's skin by pinching and squeezing the acne. This will aggravate the issue
  4. Use a humidifier:

    Dry air will ebb the moisture away from the baby's skin and aggravates baby acne. Using a humidifier can ensure that moisture is not escaped entirely from the baby's skin

When To Consult The Doctor For Baby Acne?

Baby acne is not a serious issue and more often no need of any medical attention. However, there are some circumstances in which your child‘s condition should bring under the notice of doctor, like:
  • If the acne appears more reddish and if you notice some kind of swelling or discharge. All these signs indicate the possibility of an infection
  • If the acne has yellowish heads. This indicates pus formation which in turn indicates the chances of a bacterial attack
  • If your child spikes a fever
  • If the acne goes away and then reappear
  • If the acne causes pain
  • If the baby acne does not disappear or does not show any signs of getting better even after a month
If the acne of child falls under any og the above mentioned group, rather than leaving the baby acne to resolve on its own the doctor will more often suggest topical ointments (infant –friendly dose) with hydrocortisone, ketoconazole, and benzoyl peroxide.

Can Baby Acne Be Prevented?

As hormones play a major role in developing baby acne, it's impossible to prevent neonatal acne. However, many of the tactics used to deal the baby acne can also help prevent it:
  • For your baby, always opt for hypoallergenic products including lotions, shampoos, and laundry detergents. The chemicals that make up artificial fragrances can pave the way for skin issues like acne
  • After bath always pat baby's skin dry
  • Always keep your baby's skin clean from saliva, vomit, and breast or formula milk

How Can Baby Acne Be Treated?

Waiting patiently for the hormones to leave the body is enough. Moreover, some treatments can turn the skin dry, aggravating acne. However, if your baby contracts infantile acne, topical or sometimes oral medicines may need. There are some home remedies to treat baby acne like applying coconut oil, breast milk, etc.

Did you like the blog? Did You find it useful? Please share your thought, ideas and feedbacks with us in the comments below; we’d love to hear from you.

This content has been checked & validated by Doctors and Experts of the parentune Expert panel. Our panel consists of Neonatologist, Gynecologist, Peadiatrician, Nutritionist, Child Counselor, Education & Learning Expert, Physiotherapist, Learning disability Expert and Developmental Pead.

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| Mar 17, 2018

very well-written!

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| Sep 20, 2018


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| Nov 18, 2019

Great blog.

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| Jun 07, 2020

My baby is just 5 month old and recently her forehead covered with white spot which I do how to remove

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