Thankfully the majority of newborn babies arrive with smooth, flawless skin – but even with infants, skin problems can occur. Even though baby acne is something you don’t often hear about it is a real condition that most often presents around the two to three month period after birth.
Baby acne is most often limited to the face and generally presents itself as lesions or red colored patches on the cheeks. On occasion the baby acne may result in papules, pustules or blackheads to form on the skin.
Most baby acne will disappear by itself by the time the child is around six months old although this makes it no less alarming when first seen by new parents!
Like most cases of acne, a hormonal imbalance seems to be the primary trigger for baby acne. An unborn child is exposed to to higher and more widely varying hormone levels during the pregnancy. The body has to adjust to the change and maintain its own correct hormone balance after birth.
Because of this adjustment in some instances, acne may appear. Baby acne differs from other forms of acne in that it will not cause permanent scarring. When the outbreaks have stopped your baby’s skin will most likely be undamaged from this temporary condition.
Various research has shown that boys are more susceptible to baby acne than girls. This is not at all surprising considering that post birth your child will experience much lower levels of estrogen in his system. As the baby’s body is adjusting to the changes in hormone levels the acne may disappear then re-appear a few weeks or days later.
There is no need for panic if your baby suffers an outbreak of baby acne. Actually baby acne can be a common problem in newborns. It appears that almost one in five new born babies suffer from at least some degree of baby acne whilst they are in their infancy. Your first priority should be the comfort of your baby as scarring is not a problem you need concern yourself about.
Some parents will attempt to conceal the baby acne outbreak by applying different ointments or lotions to their baby’s face. You should try to avoid doing this and simply cleanse your baby using a dermatologist approved baby soap or wash. Much of the time using various creams and ointments can aggravate the condition or even prolong it.
You really only need to consult with your doctor if the baby acne seems either extreme or severe. In order to ease the symptoms, a doctor may decide to prescribe a type of retinoid ointment or benzoyl peroxide after examining your baby. Prescription ointments or medication can be quite effective as baby acne treatments however this really should be considered a last resort.
Any parents that feel troubled by the appearance of this condition should note that there are a number of safe over the counter baby acne treatments that can ease your baby’s discomfort. Doctors most often will advise you to use some kind of anti-itching lotion like hydrocortisone. Simply remember to apply the cream sparingly.
Over application of ointments could damage your baby’s already quite delicate skin causing excess peeling. In treating baby acne you need time and patience. As your baby gets older the baby acne will begin to disappear by itself.