Baby acne: causes and treatments:The tiny red bumps, pimples, or acne that is seen to develop on a newborns skin is termed as “baby acne”. The baby acne is seen to occur anywhere on the infant’s body but is predominantly noticed on the cheeks, nose, forehead, and the back. The baby acne is common and temporary and nothing much can be done to prevent it. They are seen to clear up on their own without scarring.
What Are The Common Causes of Baby Acne?
Even though the acne is commonly seen on a baby’s face, the exact reason for its occurrence is not clear. Some researchers relate the baby acne to the hormones that are received by the infant’s from the mother during the end stage of the last trimester. The baby acne causes is still an ongoing research.
Some studies link the baby acne to the medications a baby or a breastfeeding mom takes. The acne developed in a newborn is also linked to the reactions to the baby skin products that are used on the infant.
What Does a Baby Acne Look Like?
The baby acne is very similar to the acne that is experienced by adults and adolescents. Predominantly the newborn pimples are red bumps, white pustules, white blackheads, or bumps surrounded by reddish skin. Many babies also develop “milia”, they are tiny white bumps on the nose, chin or cheeks.
Baby acne is commonly experienced in fussy or crying infants. Rough fabrics, spit-up. or saliva that is left to hang for a long time are factors that are seen to enhance the acne formation. The baby acne can be seen from birth or can develop 2-4 weeks post birth.
How Long Does a Baby Acne Last?
Predominantly a baby acne will clear within three weeks, but some stubborn acne is seen to last for months and may require medical attention. Persistent baby acne is a clue that the child will have acne problems even in the teens.
What Are The Baby Acne Therapies?
The acne that is seen on newborn tend to selfheal. But in some cases, the acne is stubborn and take several months to cure. For such stubborn and severe acne, the pediatrician will prescribe a medicated cream or ointment. Refrain using the over the counter medications, ointments, or face washes that advertise to clear baby acne as the infants have a sensitive skin. Using these over the counter medications can aggravate the acne or can enhance the skin irritation.
What are The Natural Treatments That Help to Curb Baby Acne?
The natural remedies to for baby acne include:
Refrain from overdressing the infant
Overdressing the baby is seen cause excessive sweating and irritation that in turns enhance the bacterial skin flora. Temperature regulation difficulties are faced by all newborns, which is why studies stress the importance of skin to skin contact with caregivers.
Avoid excessive washing
The pH of a newborns skin is delicately balanced. Hence researchers recommend the use of plain water for the baby bath during the first month of birth. Refrain using toiletry cosmetics like lotions, soap, and washes during the first-month post birth as these products are known to cause skin disorders like acne, cradle caps, and rashes.
Diluted alcohol-free witch hazel
Witch hazel is an efficient natural astringent that plays a pivotal role in cleaning the blocked oil skin and pores that are seen to cause baby acne. This alcohol is diluted and is topically applied. Alternatively, this alcohol can also be added to homemade baby wipes for a beneficial cleansing process.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is a yesteryear product used to treat a wide range of ailments. They not only play a pivotal role to improve the complexion in the older folk but also are seen to provide favorable outcomes for baby acne treatment.
- Mix equal proportions of apple cider vinegar and water.
- Apply this solution on to the infected regions on the infants face.
- Wipe and rinse cleanly.
Breastfeeding mothers are recommended to increase the intake of probiotic food like yogurt, sauerkraut, kimchi, kefir, or miso as breastmilk encourages the good bacterial growth in the newborn’s guts. The other benefits of including probiotics in the diet include reduced allergy attacks, decreased colic, acid reflux, or diarrhea.
- Probiotics available in the powder or liquid form can be combined with breast milk or formula.
- Alternatively, powdered probiotics can be applied to the nipples in exclusively breastfeeding infants.
Note: Check for altered immune responses or allergic reactions when supplementing probiotics to infants.
Research has found that topically applying probiotics help in treating acne in three ways:
- Probiotics applied to the skin create a protective shield which does not target and worsen acne in infants.
- The probiotics themselves are seen to attack the bad microflora that could trigger inflammation.
- Probiotics are seen to cause a calming effect on the skin cells which in turn reduce immune responses.
Coconut oil is a traditional home remedy used to treat various ailments. It plays a pivotal role in maintaining a glowing skin and a healthy hair. It is safe to use on the baby due to the following reasons:
- Is easily absorbed through the skin.
- The lauric acid present in it has antimicrobial as well as antifungal properties.
- Moisturizes, soothes and nourishes the skin.
- Cleanse the baby’s face with a mild scent free soap.
- Dip a clean cotton ball into the coconut oil and use this to dab the infected region of the face.
- Repeat twice a day till visible outcomes are experienced.
Note: Organic virgin coconut oil in glass jars is the preferred oil for beneficial outcomes. Mommies use coconut oils to treat diaper rashes and ringworms.
Another popular home remedy which is used to prepare pies in the kitchen is effective in treating baby acne. The natural drying nature of cornstarch helps to absorb excess oil from the skin. This, in turn, alleviates irritation and keeps the acne away.
- Mix cornstarch and water to make a paste.
- Wash the newborn’s face and apply this paste as a thin layer on to the infected area.
- Allow sitting for 45 minutes and rinse with warm water.
- Pat the face gently with a clean towel.
- Repeat once a day for beneficial results.
Note: Some moms use the cornstarch to treat diaper rashes it reduces the irritation and soothes the skin.
The lauric acid content in the breastmilk effectively helps in soothing the infected skin due to the antifungal and antibacterial properties. Moreover, the breast milk is rich in omega-3-fatty acids, glyconutrients, and antibodies. Hence are useful for exfoliating the skin and getting rid of acne.
- Rinse the newborn’s face with a mild soap.
- Express some breastmilk on to a sterile container.
- Apply a few drops of the breastmilk on to the infected area with a cotton ball or pad.
- Allow it to dry.
- Repeat several times a day till visible outcomes are noticed.
Note: However this method usage needs to be used sparingly as some infants skin irritation increase due to some medications ingested by breastfeeding mothers.
- Baby powder
Baby powders containing corn starch or talc as a drying agent are effective to treat baby acne as they help in moisturizing the skin, reduce swelling, and keep the skin dry.
- Wash the infected area carefully and gently pat dry.
- Pour some powder on your palm and dab some powder on to the infant’s face with the aid of fingertips.
- Precautions need to be taken while applying it near the nose and eyes.
- Repeat till visible results are seen.
Note: Be precautions while applying the baby powder. Make sure the baby doesn’t inhale or swallow the powder as it is poisonous especially if the main ingredient is talc.
Honey and lemon
The potent anti-inflammatory nature of honey and lemon are effective to treat acne in babies. One of the trusted and safe home remedies to treat baby acne is lemon and honey paste.
- Add one teaspoon of honey and lemon juice in a clean bowl.
- Stir and mix well for a uniform concoction formation.
- Dip a clean cotton ball in the concoction.
- Swab the dipped cotton on to the infected area.
- Wait for thirty minutes.
- Rinse off with water and gently pat dry with a clean soft towel.
Note: Avoid feeding honey to the baby still the infant turns one.
Oatmeal has the ability to alleviate skin irritations, soothe as well as moisturize the baby’s skin. Oatmeal is also effectively used to treat diaper, skin, and allergic rashes.
- Blend 1/3 cup of oatmeal to form a fine powder.
- Sprinkle this powder in a bathtub filled with warm water.
- Swirl around for uniform distribution.
- Soak the baby in this bathtub for 10 minutes.
- Pat dry the skin gently with a soft towel.
Note: The oatmeal powder makes the bathtub slippery take extra precaution to securely hold the infant. Do not allow the powder to come in contact with the eyes as they are seen to irritate the eyes.
What are the Pros and Cons to Control and Curb Baby Acne?
The following tips will effectively aid to curb and control acne in infants
- Refrain from using the over the counter medications available for adults as the baby acne is different from adult acne
- Do not scrub, pick or squeeze the acne.
- Skip lotion or soap applications on to the infected skin region.
- Use warm water to wash the infants face with a mild moisturizing soap.
- Wash and rinse the new clothing before using them on the newborns to avoid the transmission of new microflora.
- The reoccurrence of the acne is seen to reduce once the mother’s hormones stop circulating in the baby’s bloodstream.
- Avoid overdressing the baby as high temperature enhances skin irritation in infants.
- Regularly clean the baby’s toys, bedding, clothes, and others items that come in contact with the baby’s skin to avoid accumulation of dead skin cells, oil, and dirt that can clog skin pores and cause acne.
When to consult a doctor?
Consult the baby’s doctor if an individual is concerned about any aspect of the baby’s complexion and if the suffering from acne is combined with others signs like fever, lethargy, poor feeding, cough or fussiness.
In some babies, the acne may actually be an allergic reaction or eczema. If an allergic reaction is suspected, the doctor will determine the cause of the allergy, the rash will resolve once the allergen is removed from the baby’s environment. Eczema can be treated by using the following techniques
- Over-the-counter products like Aquaphor and Vanicream
- With the aid of mild prescription medication
- By removing allergens in the food
- By including probiotics regularly.
Be patient and allow the baby’s skin to perform its functions The baby’s acne will not bother him/ her in the least, so try not to let it bother you, either.
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