One of the many things that new mothers can add to their laundry list of concerns is baby acne. Fortunately, however, baby acne is not a harmful condition to infants, but, if prevalent, it can cause great distress for new mothers who want their new infant to be glorious, beautiful, and perfect. Baby acne has also been termed acne neonatorum but is most commonly known as baby acne. This is a condition that is seen in approximately 20% of newborns.
Onset of the baby acne generally occurs at approximately 2 weeks and will not last longer than 3 months of age. Baby acne is shown as in tiny red dots or lesions that typically affect the foreheads, cheeks, and nasal bridge of babies.
Hormones play a large role in the development of baby acne. This occurs when the mother”s hormones linger after birth. Maternal hormones will cross the placenta barrier to the child and, after birth, will force the oil glands under the skin”s surface to produce tiny lesions that appear as baby acne. Baby acne typically improves after a couple of weeks but, in some babies, it can persist for several months.
There does appear to be some clinical support to the notion that babies of mothers who are breastfeeding may be more prone to baby acne. These babies also may have baby acne longer. The reason for this is that the mother”s hormones continue to fluctuate for an extended period post-partum and these same hormone fluctuations are passed through breast milk. When a baby is exposed to these hormones for extended periods, they are more likely to develop baby acne.
Baby acne has a tendency to be more aggressive when the baby is experiencing stress. Irritated skin also has been shown to play a role in baby acne. The most common skin irritants in new born are soap, spit-up, and clothing washed with strong laundry soaps. Little bumps on the skin may also be present on your baby, and these are not related to baby acne. These bumps are called milia and will disappear much quicker than baby acne. Cradle cap is another condition that worries mothers, but is also not related to baby acne. Because these conditions both occur in the same general areas, they are often confused. You can distinguish the difference between the two by noting that cradle cap has a tendency to appear as dry scales, whereas baby acne is in the form of red lesions or whiteheads.
Baby acne is much more likely to bother the new mother than it is the child because it is not a painful condition. The treatment of baby acne involves frequent gentle washing of the skin with mild soap and water. Avoid using excess lotions or creams because these will further exacerbate the baby acne; for the same reason, also avoid harsh scrubbing or rubbing. There are over-the-counter methods that you can use, but because baby”s skin tends to be more sensitive than chldren or adults, these treatments are not recommended. Furthermore, because baby acne most often clears up on its own, they are probably not necessary. If you think that your infant”s baby acne is aggravating your child, or if the baby acne is turning into cyst forms, speak to your doctor about recommended treatment.