Let’s Talk About Baby Acne

I have three children: a 6 year old, 4 year old and an almost 5 month old. Usually by the third baby, you feel like an old pro, and know what’s in store with cluster feeding, growth spurts, changing poop color etc.

One thing I had never experienced, and was not prepared for with this baby, was baby acne. Here is my son the day after he was born:

A little bit of redness, but not a big deal.

Here he is, ten days after he was born.

You can see the red pimples had started to appear on his face and neck. I was surprised, but both his pediatrician, and my midwife said exactly what I had found on the internet:

“Baby acne is very common. Acne can be present at birth, but more often it shows up after a couple of weeks.

Baby acne looks similar to teenage acne. You’ll see white or red bumps or pimples, which may be surrounded by reddish skin.”

At two weeks in, it got worse. Here it is:

At this point, panic was setting in. Was it something I was eating? I wasn’t washing his face with anything other than water. So what causes it? Again, every medical professional I spoke to told me the same thing:

“As with adolescent acne, there’s no clear answer. Experts often point to the hormones that babies receive from their mother at the end of pregnancy as a cause of baby acne. But researchers continue to study other factors and have yet to agree on one cause.” via Baby Center

Great. So what can parents do? Nothing but wait it out, and not use any chemicals. Well, boy was I glad I didn’t have a newborn photoshoot set up! It was hard to see my baby like this, and not be able to fix it. But thankfully, 6 weeks after he was born, it cleared up!

After four weeks of pimple mania, our baby was acne free.

So if you have recently given birth (congratulations!) and your baby’s face is covered in red pimples, visit your pediatrician. If they confirm it is baby acne, don’t panic: your baby will not look like this forever. Do you best to remain patient and to not scrub it or use any harsh chemicals. It will clear up on its own, in time.

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Managing Editor. Ladan is a British mother of three, who moved to California in 2008 to live with her husband. Born and raised in London, she has the very British sarcastic sense of humor. None of her previous workplaces prepared her for becoming a mother and having the three most demanding bosses in the world, but also the cutest.

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