Friday, August 8, 2014

Infant Acne

Infant acne is a very common affliction and one that we get a LOT of calls about. Although the timing can vary, it typically shows up between 3 and 6 weeks of age and is usually gone in a couple of months. Your previously flawless infant is suddenly covered with pimples. This will include whiteheads, pinkish pimples and red, rough patches of skin. The rash can spread beyond just the face and move to areas all over the chest and the head. The situation seems to get aggravated and redder when the baby is warm. The cause of the infant acne is thought to be a combination of maternal hormones and baby sweat glands starting to work

Infant acne drives parents crazy, but usually doesn't bother the baby at all. Of course, not all rashes are infant acne. Little white pimples called milia are also quite common and may be present at birth. Some babies may be sensitive to detergents, soaps or something in a breast feeding mom's diet. As with any rash, if the baby seems bothered by it (they may be rubbing at their face as if they are itchy) if they seem unusually fussy ( probably unrelated, but.....) or the rash seems oozy or crusty, schedule an appointment to have the baby evaluated. Any distinct large pustule should be checked out to make sure it isn't Staph. 

Infant acne loves to show up when the grandparents are about to meet the baby for the first time or you are ready for a photo shoot (this is what Photoshop is made for. My generation wasn't so lucky!)
There is no standard treatment. Simply wash the areas with gentle soap and water. Some folks say that applying breast milk or Calendula cream  directly to the rashy area seems to help calm it down.

While the rash on your baby's face  is very likely infant acne, I understand if you feel the need to check in anyway by sending a photo or giving us a call. Trust me, I get it. In my own case, when my first born Lauren suddenly resembled a teenager with horrible acne, I broke down and made that very first call to the pediatrician.

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