When you are a parent of an infant with baby acne, all you want is for it to magically disappear so your baby can have that oh-so-soft baby skin again. So how long does it last and what causes it in the first place? And most importantly, how do you get rid of it? Read on.
Baby acne can first appear any time in the first six months of a baby’s life, with the most typical time between three and six weeks old. It often looks similar to teenager acne, with red and yellowish bumps on the face. Because of its looks baby acne often causes concerned parents to worry. Good news! Baby acne is more of a nuisance and usually doesn’t bother babies.
So what causes baby acne? Baby acne causes are the same as all acne causes: a combination of oils, bacteria, and hormones. It is believed that one of the baby acne causes is a mother’s lingering hormones combined with the baby’s own oils. That is why baby acne is worst during the first month of life. Baby acne usually lasts for about one month, but can linger up to three months.
While baby acne will go away on its own over time, here are some tips for baby acne treatment:
- Use a soft washcloth without any soap and gently rub your baby’s face and around the eyebrows and nose. This will help to exfoliate any lingering oils in those areas.
- If you feel you must use a cleanser, choose a gentle, tear-free version and be sure to avoid the eyes.
- Do not try to scrub away the acne. Physical scrubbing can actually create more aggravation and redness.
- Other skin conditions such as cradle cap and eczema on the face can make baby acne appear much worse than it actually is. Take a deep breath and remember that baby acne will go away on its own over time and doesn’t bother babies.
- Continue breast feeding as usual. The benefits of breast feeding far outweigh any hormones the baby could be exposed to. The baby acne will go away in time, regardless of whether or not you breastfeed.
- If you are concerned with redness, you can use an over-the-counter (OTC) 1% hydrocortisone cream twice daily for one day. Be sure not to use hydrocortisone for an extended period of time.
- Do not use adult acne medications such as benzoyl peroxide on your baby. These adult products may cause significant irritation to a baby’s delicate skin and can lead to more redness and worsening of the condition.
So your baby has baby acne – try not to worry. It will go away in about a month and it will go away on its own. In the meantime, enjoy this newborn phase. The sleepless nights and all of the feedings are definitely hard, and we know it seems hard to believe, but this phase is going to fly by fast. Enjoy that new life.
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