If you have not had much experience with babies, you might be shocked when your little one is born looking nothing like the babies on the current diaper or baby wash commercials. Wrinkly and red and often screaming, it can be quite a sight to get used to at first.

Even more shocking is that you see pimples developing on your little ones face a few days or weeks later. You may have thought that pimples were something that you would not have had to deal with for a good 12 or 13 years. However, baby acne is quite common, so here is a look at it and what you can do about it.

Acne Neonatorum

Acne neonatorum, commonly known as baby acne, affects about one in five newborns. You will usually see pimples on the cheeks, chin, and forehead. Some babies will develop it immediately after birth, and others will see it a few weeks later. Luckily, this condition normally goes away on its own after the first couple of months. A similar but unrelated condition that also causes bumps on a newborns face is milia, though milia usually disappears on its own within a few weeks as well.

Though it may surprise you to see acne well before the teenager years, there is actually an explanation behind your newborns pimply skin. A combination of factors can be causing it. Skin irritations such as perfumes in the laundry detergent that you use can play a role, as can some medications. If you use a petroleum or mineral oil based product on your baby, then that can cause baby acne.


Babies are born with a certain amount of their mothers hormones floating around in their systems, so those can cause acne, as can medications that the mother was taken when pregnant. Generally, since baby is no longer in contact with the drugs or hormones, the acne clears up as they clear the babys system.


There are a couple of things that you can do to help prevent or reduce baby acne. First of all, avoid using oils or lotions on babys face. You can wash the face with water or mild baby soap, but do not scrub since this will cause more irritation of the skin. Try using all natural cleaning products and detergents.

Do not use acne prevention on your child, as these products are designed for teenager and adult skin and can be harmful to baby. Do not pick at or pop the pimples, but leave them alone. Most baby acne heals on its own without leaving any permanent marks. If it has not cleared up by the time your infant is three months old, consult your pediatrician to see if there is a concern.

Do not worry! Your child is not alone when it comes to baby acne. And chances are, by the time your little one has plumped up and started doing the cute things seen on baby commercials, baby acne will no longer be a concern for either of you.

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