Fair it is not: your baby is only a few weeks old and suddenly shows a baby acne. With such a sight, at least if it’s your first baby, you probably had not expected until puberty. From other mothers or your midwife, you now hear that it is a baby, neonatal or infant acne.
Baby acne – natural reaction to hormonal changes
It is true that the pimples are a special form of acne vulgaris, which we suffered more or less like a teenager. However, the identical use of these three terms is not correct: neonatal or baby acne is completely harmless and occurs especially in the first weeks of your baby’s life.
An infant acne, on the other hand, only develops between the third and sixth month of life and usually requires medical treatment.
The baby acne is a completely natural reaction to hormonal changes. The medical terms for this are acne neo natorum or neonatal rash. The red pimples with a small yellow knot in the middle appear at first in the face and spread out from the there body down.
Some children are so badly affected that at times they look like little crumb cake. The rash is painless, does not itch and later heals without scarring. About 20 percent of all babies are affected by neonatal acne. It always starts in the first weeks of life and is often associated with a growth spurt.
If the acne already appears between the tenth and 14th day of life, their reasons are in hormonal influences that began long before the birth date. In the last trimester of pregnancy, the maternal body releases more hormones, which promote, among other things, the maturation of the lungs and the development of the child’s immune system, but also affect the sebaceous glands of the baby.
Many children develop sebaceous deposits on the forehead and nose or even a baby acne in the first days and weeks after birth. Between the third and sixth week of life, the hormone balance of the baby is reversed, which can also lead to acne. Recent US studies also suggest that certain medications taken by the mother while breastfeeding may result in neonatal acne.
Young boys are more likely to struggle with hormonal changes after birth and probably also with the influence of maternal hormones in pregnancy than girls, so they develop a baby acne more often. The rash can be aggravated by overheating – fever or too warm clothing – as well as skin irritation.
Skin care for newborn acne: less is more!
For the children, a baby acne usually does not cause any discomfort. Medical treatment does not require this acne variant. If you are worried anyway, your after-care midwife or pediatrician can certainly dispel your fears. The likelihood that your child will be particularly affected by hormonal skin problems during puberty is not associated with neonatal acne.
Midwives and experienced mothers know: In the skin care of a baby acne less is usually more! The best thing to do is to wash the affected area with lukewarm water and several times a week with a mild, moisturizing baby soap.
With dirt or dust, acne has in no case to do – an intensive rubbing the delicate baby skin is not required. For skin care, midwives and pediatricians recommend the use of a marigold ointment or olive oil, which is often the preferred care product even in children with atopic dermatitis. A home remedy is also to dab the pimples with breast milk.
However, too many oils and lotions can make a baby acne worse. You should avoid perfumed or waxy care products.
Please do not try to express the pimples – the procedure is painful for your baby and can cause inflammation. Skin care products for teenage acne and antibiotic or cortisone-containing ointments are also taboo for a newborn’s acne. The most important of these completely natural symptoms is patience – within two to three months the rash disappears on its own.
Infant acne – due to the nature of the condition and often in need of treatment
Although infant acne and neonatal acne look alike, their causes are not identical. About the infant acne medics assume that the trigger in a hereditary predisposition, which often leads to the puberty of particularly strong attacks of acne.
An infant acne usually does not manifest until the third to sixth month of life. Often, it creates a strong itching, which can significantly affect the children. Also, it usually takes much longer than a baby acne.
The treatment of an infant acne belongs in the hands of a doctor who will prescribe anti-inflammatory drugs or antibiotics to your child depending on their severity. If not treated or treated too late, the acne pustules can leave unsightly scars.
How to help your baby with acne
Important: Neither a baby acne nor an infant acne did anything wrong with your child’s care or diet. Even hypoallergenic baby food does not help against acne.
However, any acne is intensified by skin irritation. When the baby spits out milk, drooling, or scratching the pimples, it often worsens the rash. Therefore always put your baby under a dry, clean burp cloth so that his face stays as dry as possible.
If your baby suffers from an infant acne, the itching will force it to scratch frequently and severely in the affected areas. If you can not prevent scratching otherwise, put light cotton gloves on your child. Please make sure that your baby is completely free from smoke – tobacco smoke is a major irritant to the skin and thus promotes the spread of acne.
TIPS FROM MIDWIFE CHRISTINA ALTMANN
- If your child suffers from acne, as a breastfeeding mother, you should completely abstain from using any dairy product for two weeks, preferably all animal products. Not infrequently, the success brings!