Not sure whether your infant is having baby acne or a different skin problem? Similar to acne in adolescents and adults, baby acne looks like red bumps or pimples on the skin. Whiteheads or white pustules can also develop and reddish skin surrounds the bumps. While it often manifests itself on your child’s cheeks, it can also develop on the back and chin and becomes conspicuous after the child’s skin is irritated by fabric washed with strong detergent. If you’re concerned about your child’s health, you may be wondering how long baby acne lasts. To give you peace of mind, continue reading this article that describes how long baby acne lasts and its remedies.
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How Long Does Baby Acne Last?
In case your child is suffering from baby acne, you want them to disappear immediately and for your child to regain their soft skin. Baby acne can sometimes be present at birth, but it can also develop two to six weeks after birth. Depending on the environment where your child lives and how they are treated, it can last anywhere from a few days to a week. However, in some severe cases, it can last for several months. Read more on how long baby acne on face lasts here.
Talk to your pediatrician if baby acne does not subside after a few weeks or if your child develops acne after taking some medication. Visit https://www.aad.org/find-a-derm to locate a dermatologist near you in case your child develops acne between the age of two and six. Baby acne shouldn’t develop after the age of two. Development of acne between these ages can be a sign of hormonal issues.
If your infant still has baby acne after three months, then this can only mean that something has gone wrong and you should consult your physician about it. It’s not advisable to give your child medication without a prescription from your doctor because things may worsen and it may cause more irritation to your baby.
Should You Worry About Baby Acne?
The zit-like marks often appear in newborns and it may come as a surprise to you if you’re a new mother, but you don’t need to panic.
Although most rashes aren’t serious, a few may need close attention:
- Fluid-filled blisters can be an indication of a serious infection.
- Petachiae (small purplish or red dots) over the body can be caused by a potentially serious bacterial infection or a viral infection. These dots won’t lighten with pressure and will remain the same color even after pushing on the skin.
- If your infant develops acne after 6 weeks of age (infantile acne) you should contact a dermatologist.
What Helps to Go Away?
While doctors don’t know what causes baby acne, it is harmless. It causes no irritation or pain to your young one. Always remember that baby acne is temporary and it almost always clears up without scarring. Click here if you want to learn more about what causes baby acne.
Keep the skin clean and avoid disturbing the pimples to clear the acne. However, when keeping the child’s skin clean, always be mindful of its delicate nature. The skin is the largest organ of the human body and it has a permeable membrane. This means that it takes everything that is put on it and absorbs it and that your baby will ingest anything put on their skin. Therefore, use only natural, gentle and safe skin care products for your infant.
In case your infant has this skin condition, you should try the following home remedies. These are a more friendly option than topical medication recommended by a physician.
They are natural and have no side effects:
- Coconut Oil: Nothing beats the soothing effect of coconut oil on your baby’s skin. Coconut oil is a hydrating agent for the skin and it provides excellent results, especially if your child has baby acne. Ensure that you use only organic coconut oil that isn’t refined (virgin coconut oil). Put a few drops of the coconut oil on some cotton wool and apply it to your child’s skin four times a day. Because it’s chemical free you don’t have to worry about anything. Within 3 to 5 days you should notice the acne clearing. For more tips on how to get rid of baby acne using coconut oil, click here.
- Breast Milk: This natural elixir for baby acne not only nourishes your baby but also makes him or her strong to fight ailments. Breast milk also works as a natural remedy for baby acne. Soak cotton wool in some breast milk and carefully apply on the affected skin area at least three times a day. Most mothers have claimed to notice a difference immediately after applying breast milk.
- Honey and Lemon: Both honey and lemons have a remarkable effect on the skin. Recent research indicates these two natural products are the best treatment for your baby’s delicate skin. Mix equal proportions of honey and lemon juice and use cotton wool to apply them on the affected area of your infant’s skin. Wait for half an hour after applying and rinse with warm water.
- Vinegar Treatment: Vinegar is one of the best treatments for baby acne. It kills the bacteria present on the skin and soaks the unwanted oil. While there are premade kinds of vinegar, you can make yours at home. Since your baby’s skin is sensitive and delicate, never use concentrated vinegar because it can burn your infant’s skin. Mix vinegar and water and apply on the affected area using cotton wool. However, don’t apply the solution right away on your baby’s face. Instead, apply on the inner part of your baby’s wrist and observe whether it reacts adversely. In case the skin becomes inflamed or turns red, don’t use this home remedy.
- Don’t wash excessively: Your baby’s PH is well-balanced. During birth, the skin pH is 6.4, but it falls to 4.9 after the first one week. The acidification process can take longer for children who are born prematurely. This process acts as a natural protector against infections. Cleansers, lotions, and soaps among other skin products can disrupt the natural ability of the skin. According to recent studies, babies washed with water alone for the first month don’t present skin maladies like cradle cap, baby acne, and other rashes.
- Don’t Overdress: A baby’s skin condition can be aggravated by overdressing. Too much heat can cause irritation; excessive sweating and can cause the increase of bacteria. However, during the first few days of life, a child will experience difficulties in regulating temperature, and this is why skin to skin contact with the parent is important. During this time, there is no risk of overdressing.
What if It Won’t Go Away?
In case your child suffers from severe acne, then your pediatrician may recommend that you use benzoyl peroxide, keratolytic agents, or topical creams.
Your newborn may also be suffering from other conditions that are often confused with baby acne.
Below are a few other skin conditions that may be similar to baby acne but require their unique diagnosis and remedies:
- Infantile acne: Apart from baby acne, there are other different types of acne that can develop over time such as infantile acne. This refers to acne that emerges after three months of age or later. It results from the presence of enduring maternal hormones. However, it is more severe than baby acne.
- Heat Rash: Baby acne often appears on the face while heat rash appears where the child is clothed, including on the neck, chest, stomach, buttocks, and thighs. Heat rash is the reddening of the skin with lots of tiny bumps.
- Milia: Unlike heat rashes, milia are tiny white bumps that are similar to whiteheads which often appear on the chin, cheeks, and nose of the baby. Milia can be present from birth and can sometimes occur alongside baby acne as the skin of your infant tries to adjust to the environment outside the womb.
- Eczema: Although it looks similar to baby acne, its trademark is a patchy, reddish and scaly dry skin. It is common among babies, and can sometimes pop-up in high-friction areas such as folds of tiny little knees or elbows. This condition is often caused by dryness, diet, gut flora balance, lifestyle, and genetics in case a parent also suffers from eczema.
- Infection: In case the baby acne bumps spread beyond the face or in case a baby has cold or fever symptoms, then your child may have an infection and you should call your pediatrician immediately.
Also known as neonatal acne, baby acne is common and completely normal and it poses no risk to your infant. While you may be tempted to seek for a quick fix or baby acne treatment, you should be patient and allow your baby’s skin to do its thing. The human skin has built-in protection and fail-safes that should be carried out without interference. Eventually, the condition will clear and your infants’ skin will be soft and smooth again. You can use the above natural methods to keep your child’s skin as healthy as possible.
You can find further details of Acne here.