New parents share a bond. You bring home your beautiful bundle of joy; you can’t stop staring at your new baby. Words cannot express the emotion you feel, the overwhelming love, the disbelief, the incredible happiness. You never knew you were not whole, but now, you can’t imagine living a day without your precious baby. The desire for your child to be perfect in every way is common and overpowering among new parents. So, when you see the little bumps on your perfect baby’s face, dread overcomes you. “It could be anything,” you think. But, most likely it is infant acne, also referred to as neonatal acne. Baby acne is not serious and absolutely no cause for concern.
Infant acne usually occurs a few weeks after birth and can last for anywhere from a few days to a few months. While there are not any specific known causes for infant acne, it is speculated that hormones from mom to baby can cause the unsightly bumps. Rest assured, baby acne is completely normal and incredibly common. However, you should minimize the amount of breast milk or formula the baby’s skin comes into contact with. Also, be cautious when using lotions, creams, detergents, fabric softeners or anything that could irritate the area more.
Baby acne can occur anywhere on the child’s body. It most often looks like small red bumps on the surface of the skin. But it usually pops up in patches on the face; cheeks and nose are the most common areas. It will appear and feel rough to the touch, but you should avoid excessively scrubbing the child’s skin. Occasionally the bumps might come to a “head.” Under no circumstances should you pop anything that appears on your baby’s skin. This could lead to serious infection. It is always a good idea to get a doctor to look at anything you feel might be abnormal or persistent, but infant acne should clear up on its own. It can take months for it to disappear, but the best plan for baby acne is to leave it alone.
Some babies have more acne than others, some have none at all. A lot happens in the first few months of life, and a few red bumps do not make your precious baby any less perfect! You are most likely more affected by the skin irritation than your child is.