Baby acne is a common occurrence in newborns. Often, it can be irritating for them and worrisome for the parents, so we’ve compiled a list of products that can safely reduce and prevent acne in your baby. However, before moving any further, let us take a look at what baby acne is and looks like.
What Is It?
Baby acne is the same type of acne experienced by adults and teenagers but can build up anywhere on a newborn’s body, with the most common places being the cheeks and back. It appears as hard, red bumps with inflamed skin and develops due to the hyperactivity of oil glands in the skin. These bumps can also result in whiteheads. Baby acne usually clears up on its own and occurs mostly within 2 to 4 weeks after birth.
As of yet, the cause for baby acne has not been identified. Some research suggests a connection with maternal hormones.
Sometimes, it can be difficult to tell whether your baby has acne or other skin problems, so before treating it, let’s look at other possible skin conditions to cover our bases.
Other Skin Conditions & Their Symptoms
- Eczema: It can look quite similar to baby acne since it also appears as red skin that’s dry and patchy. Another identifier of eczema is that unlike baby acne, it can appear in places where the skin folds such as behind the ears, elbows and knees. This is due to friction. Eczema can have various causes as well that range from genetics to dietary issues and dryness.
- Milia: These are small bumps on the skin that are usually present at the time of birth, unlike acne that develops later. Milia can be found on the face (cheeks, nose, and chin) and looks a lot like whiteheads.
- Heat Rash: These pop up in places where the baby remains clothed for some time. A heat rash is usually recognized by red skin with very small bumps in a particular area. Normal areas for a heat rash are neck, chest and stomach.
- Infection: If similar symptoms to acne or any of the above skin problems appear alongside fever, your baby may have an infection.
Without further ado, here are some baby-safe products to treat acne:
For acne that develops due to maternal hormones, the No-Rinse Cleansing Micellar Water by Mustela is suggested for use. This is perfect for cleaning acne-affected areas as it instantly soothes the skin while removing acne. Additionally, it gently cleans impurities from the skin while maintaining its natural oils, which help it fight acne buildup.
Based on research by Dr. Rachel Nazarian (one of the top NYC dermatologists), fragrances are found to be harmful for babies and may add to acne buildup. With that in mind, this body lotion is fragrance-free. Furthermore, it is known for soothing and hydrating the affected areas of the skin.
Promise Organic is known for providing high-quality skincare products, and this one doesn’t disappoint either. This sunscreen lotion is low in SPF and is an especially useful product to use when your baby has acne. Not only does it keep the skin nourished with moisture, but it also prevents harm from the sun, which can otherwise aggravate the skin.
This body lotion is very helpful for sensitive, dry skin as it contains avocado perseose, which has been defined as a biomimetic-patented active ingredient that is suitable for infants' skin. When applied to the affected areas, it provides moisture and prevents scarring.
The Cetaphil Baby Lotion comes highly endorsed by Dr. Nazarian, who suggests abandoning all other products that you might be using to treat acne for this one. High praise! It softens and moisturizes the skin and is good for everyday use.
Lastly, Aquaphor’s shampoo is recommended especially for babies with acne. While most shampoos might have harsh ingredients that could cause irritation, this one has chamomile essence and panthenol, which ensure that your baby’s skin does not lose its moisture.
What Not to Do
While using these products, you may end up taking the wrong steps in your eagerness to help your baby. You need to avoid doing the following:
- Avoid scrubbing the skin when washing or cleaning, especially if the skin is dry. Doing so will aggravate the condition as friction from a cloth will irritate the skin and force it to produce more oil. Instead, when drying, pat the skin gently using a soft towel. Remember, don’t wipe.
- Avoid using oily products over the affected area. This is really important to follow because even though the skin appears dry, acne is caused by extra oil production of the skin. By putting oily products, the acne will worsen. Use non-oily creams if the skin starts to improve after a few days.
- Do not touch acne-ridden areas excessively. Any sort of unnecessary irritation will make the problem worse, and it can be painful for your baby.
- Never use acne products normally prescribed for teenagers. While it may be the same condition, a baby’s skin is very sensitive to any strong ingredients or chemicals that normally may work well for adolescents.
What to Do
These products may take some time to fully rid your baby of acne, so an effective and safe treatment might demand patience from you. Try to remember that this is completely normal and usually does not cause any discomfort to your baby unless there is a lot of friction over the affected areas.
However, if you find these products are not improving your baby’s condition, it is recommended to visit a specialist.