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Let’s Talk About Baby Acne

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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:

baby with flushed red cheeks
baby sleeping

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

Here he is, ten days after he was born.

baby sleeping with hat

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:

close up of baby with acne
close up of baby acne

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

sleeping baby with hat
smiling baby

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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Kamrun Nahar

Sunday 3rd of November 2019

Hello Ladan, such a great article because every mom panics about newborn baby acne. I am also worried when my first child suffers from acne. I wasn't washing my baby face , what I do that time day by day I am worried. Thank you for sharing your experience.

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