Baby Acne: First Steps in Skincare

baby acne

Baby acne is a normal part of babyhood.

Due to hormones, it’s common for some babies to develop cases of baby acne. While this is a harmless condition, it can cause concern in new parents. Baby acne is commonly seen in infants and babies that are a little over six months old. During changes in hormones, sometimes the oil glands can become clogged and acne may appear as red or white bumps, also known as milia. These are similar in appearance to what we call whiteheads, commonly seen in teens and adults. They often appear on areas of the forehead, cheeks, nose, and chin. It’s important to understand that your baby’s skin is extremely sensitive and unable to tolerate the types of products used by adults. For this reason, it’s important to refrain from using any spot treatments that can be harsh or irritating. Additional things to avoid:
  • Astringents
  • Picking at pimples
  • Using products not formulated for baby

To keep your baby’s skin clear, use a mild wash formulated for his or her skin. Avoid using harsh soaps that can strip the surface of the skin and throw off baby’s pH levels. Try to keep your child’s face clean and dry, especially after activities like feeding—as spit up and drool can make acne worse. If irritation from the breakout causes your baby to scratch at his or her face, you can have your child wear soft cloth mittens and also keep his or her nails short. Some people believe that certain food choices and dieting habits—like those with high sugar and dairy content—may contribute to breakouts. If you feel that this could be the case, it’s best to speak with your doctor to determine what changes may be beneficial to your diet. Understandably, many new moms are prone to erring on the side of caution when making health choices that may affect mom and baby. Luckily, it won’t be long before your baby’s acne resolves. Typically it takes just a few weeks for things to calm, leaving behind clear skin.

Post-pregnancy Acne: It’s also common for new moms to experience acne breakouts shortly after giving birth while hormones fluctuate. Post pregnancy, your skin may also be prone to increased redness, hyperpigmentation (called melasma) and different types of acne. While this may be frustrating, it’s important to take it in stride. Like your baby’s acne, post pregnancy breakouts are usually short-lived. To encourage a healthy complexion, be sure to cleanse, tone, and moisturize twice daily. For issues with hyperpigmentation, limit your sun exposure during the peak hours of 10am and 3pm, and wear sunscreen—reapplying often. If outdoors, you should keep your baby and yourself protected by spending time in areas that offer adequate shade. To decrease dullness and increase radiance, exfoliate your skin (not your baby’s) with a scrub or chemical exfoliant up to three times per week.

New moms, have you or your baby experienced increased acne post pregnancy? Share your experiences below!

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