When it comes to motherhood, especially the initial days and weeks, most of us (and also those around us) panic at the drop of a hat. We can slow down those panic attacks by being well informed and, in case of doubt, going straight to the doctor.
Inspite of all my reading, I had somehow missed the topic of Baby Acne completely. And when at about the 3 week mark, my daughter developed reddish pimples all over her face and forehead and chin, I was in complete shock. Add to that the uncalled for advice by people around you: maybe it rash because of the cold – dress her in warmer clothes; maybe it is heat rash – you dress her in too many layer, you keep her skin too dry etc etc. I refused to follow any advice and went straight to the doctor, and I was put at ease. So, here is what I learnt.
What is Baby Acne?
Baby acne is acne in babies. As simple as that. It is different from eczema, heat rash and all other kinds of baby rash (such as saliva rash, teething rash, allergic reactions etc.)
When does Baby Acne appear?
Baby acne usually appears on babies’ faces at the two or three week mark – and can stay for upto four to six weeks after that.
What does baby acne look like?
Baby acne looks like small rough red pimple-like bumps on your baby’s face – pretty much like adult acne. However, it is restricted to the baby’s face and does not extend to the body.
This is my daughter at about 6 weeks with her acne at the peak.
(Image Copyright: WiseShe.com)
What causes baby acne?
As usual, it is the mother’s fault :-). But, seriously, I am not joking this time. It is the hormones passed onto the baby that cause this rash. There is no real preventive measure, therefore. It is a 50 percent probability that your baby may get it or not.
What discomfort does the baby acne cause?
The only discomfort that the baby acne causes is that the parents are worried. People who are not aware of this condition keep making the mom, especially, feel miserable. However, the baby is not at all affected by the acne. Neither can your baby see it, nor feel it, nor is offended by it – just remember that and you will feel much better.
How to treat baby acne?
Unlike adult acne which may be caused by oily skin, dirt etc., baby acne is strictly caused by hormones and therefore, is best left untreated. It automatically clears up over a period of 4-8 weeks.
If you feel that the facial skin is drying up, you can give a gentle olive oil massage before a bath and then follow up with a soothing cream like Cetaphil. Please do not apply the baby lotion on the face as it is mostly meant for the body and not the face. Also, prefer wiping the face with a warm cotton ball, rather than giving a soap wash and drying with a towel, as this can irritate the skin even more.
If the rash is really bad, you can apply 1% hydrocortisone topical ointment. It temporarily subsides the acne but does not cure it.
And most importantly, kiss those adorable cheeks because acne or not, yours is the sweetest cherub ever. The baby acne
Should I go see the doctor for my baby’s acne?
Yes. It is important for your doctor to correctly diagnose your baby’s rash as baby acne. There are other skin conditions such as eczema or allergic rashes, which may start off resembling baby acne but become much severe, if left untreated.
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