So, what is baby acne? What causes it? Does it spread to the body? Is there a treatment for the condition? These are common questions parents ask when they start seeing little bumps appearing on their newborn.
What causes baby Acne?
Hormonal shifts in babies can lead to red or white pimples which may be baby acne. These breakouts can resemble those that are experienced by teenagers (cystic acne). Whether the cause is a hormonal imbalance or overactive oil glands, baby acne can affect babies’ skin from birth up to six months. Sometimes, babies have clear skin at birth but develop whiteheads (white bumps filled with pus) or small red bumps on the cheeks at three to four weeks old.
Does baby acne spread to the body?
Yes. We often associate acne with the face. Often, newborn acne presents as small blemishes that develop anywhere on the body but is usually most pronounced on the forehead, nose, and cheeks. However, this skin condition may appear more pronounced when the baby becomes fussy or is exposed to a rough or irritating fabric.
Not all blemishes on an infant’s skin are baby acne. Some are more serious than others. The following are some of the skin conditions other than infantile acne and their symptoms. Parents should remember that what clears up baby acne may not be the correct treatment for other skin conditions.
Milia are tiny cysts that usually appear on a newborn baby’s head.
While it is disconcerting to see the white bumps, they are not painful and resolve independently within in a few weeks.
The trapping of the protein, keratin, under the skin causes this group of cysts.
This skin condition is not contagious and requires no treatment. 
Cradle cap appears as a crust or scale on the baby’s head during the first three months.
While this skin condition can look alarming, it is not harmful and will most likely resolve if left untreated. 
Here are a couple of treatments to help remove the oil crusts:
- Apply some coconut oil on the scalp and massage it for a few minutes to loosen the flakes.
- Use a natural and organic baby shampoo that is specially formulated for babies can ease this condition. MADE OF has developed a soothing foaming organic baby shampoo that can be massaged gently into your baby’s skin. After rinsing with warm water, use a soft brush to remove the oil gently.
Sometimes parents mistake eczema for baby acne.
One cause of eczema is atopic dermatitis.
This appears as tiny raised red blisters.
When the blisters break, a clear fluid will ooze from the skin.
It can be very itchy and uncomfortable.
Using a mild baby soap is crucial as harsh irritants can harm your baby’s skin.
MADE OF baby soap is pediatrician tested and made from non-GMO, natural and organic ingredients.
Extreme weather conditions can lead to heat rash which is often mistaken for baby acne.
This rash occurs during hot weather.
Infants develop a prickly rash or red bumps.
These red pimples are not the same as baby acne or even milia.
Unlike infantile acne which develops on the face, heat rashes are also found in other areas such as the folds of the skin.
What Exactly Is Baby Acne?
What is baby acne? Baby acne is a skin condition that appears on various parts of a baby’s body but commonly found on the nose, cheeks or forehead.
Neonatal acne is common among newborns and should not cause alarm because it is a temporary condition.
Most baby acne and its treatments will not scar your baby’s skin.
What Causes Baby Acne
Does baby acne spread to the body?
Yes, because the cause of acne varies and is not just limited to the facial area.
It’s important to know if the rash really is acne or caused by another source in order to determine what clears up baby acne.
Hormones generally cause newborn baby acne (acne neonatorum).
In newborn babies, maternal hormones are still circulating through the baby’s body.
However, neonatal acne in babies three months after birth may also be affected by their own hormones which stimulate their oil glands (sebaceous glands).
A baby’s oil glands are easily clogged due to the sloughing of dead skin cells and can lead to baby acne. 
Erythema toxicum neonatorum
Babies sometimes develop erythema toxicum neonatorum.
These scattered pink lesions look like a rash and are sometimes filled with pus.
The condition may look alarming but will resolve without treatment. 
Neonatal Cephalic Pustulosis
Neonatal cephalic pustulosis is a “variant” of neonatal acne.
The pustules appear on the face and/or scalp of baby’s head around the third week of life.
There are no blackheads or whiteheads with this type of acne.
Certain yeast strains found on a baby’s skin can lead to baby acne.
The Malassezia yeast species usually colonize on the surface of the skin.
This can lead to a skin inflammation that resembles infantile acne.
This type of yeast has also been found in the skin of warm-blooded animals, deep-sea vents, and human dandruff. 
Drugs And Medication For Baby Acne
When parents ask, “Does baby acne spread to the body,” they should remember that a baby’s skin can react with just about anything.
Contact can be direct or indirect.
If a baby breastfeeds, the breast milk can act as an irritant that causes neonatal acne.
Any medication that the mother consumes can be a suspected cause of baby acne.
The most common drugs that trigger baby acne include oral or topical steroids, antiseizure medications, anti-tuberculosis medicines, bromides or iodides, medications used to treat depression and oral contraceptives.
Probiotics are bacteria that aid in digestion.
However, a probiotic imbalance can also lead to neonatal acne.
To avoid this, doctors recommend breastfeeding which provides probiotic strains that are beneficial to the gut. 
It’s crucial to keep your baby’s face clean.
- Wash with warm water. Use natural and gentle skincare products for your baby’s sensitive skin.
- Dry your baby’s face gently by patting, not rubbing.
- Do not pinch or scrub the acne as this can cause increased irritation
- Avoid using lotions or oils. 
Avoid skin products that contain harsh ingredients.
Harsh ingredients lead to breakouts and other negative reactions.
MADE OF offers parents a completely natural and organic line of baby products that includes foaming shampoo and body wash, diaper rash cream, baby bottle and dish soap.
The largest organ of your body is the skin. It’s capable of absorbing the products you put on its surface.
MADE OF also manufactures organic baby sunscreen, baby lotion, organic diapers, and an organic multi-surface cleaner.
Breastfeeding moms will also benefit from the natural and organic nipple cream.
What Clears Up Baby Acne?
Infant acne is usually harmless and temporary, so most doctors do not recommend any treatment.
However, if the red pimples persist after three months, it may be time to consult your pediatrician.
Essential oils for baby acne
Although baby acne typically resolves on its own, there are some essential oils for baby acne that may help. 
However, check with your pediatrician before applying home remedies as your baby’s skin is very delicate and could harm your the skin.
- Coconut Oil – This can have a soothing effect on your baby’s delicate skin. Applying a few drops of this chemical-free and natural oil can make a difference within a few days.
- Lemon & Honey – Mix honey and lemon juice in equal proportions and apply it to the affected area. Rinse with warm water after 30 minutes.
- Sandalwood – A paste of sandalwood provides a cooling effect and can decrease inflammation.
When using essential oils for baby acne, it’s important to not put anything acidic on your baby’s skin.
Another good way to naturally treat baby acne is to avoid overdressing your baby.
Too much clothing traps heat and leads to excessive sweating which encourages the growth of bacteria.
The pH level of your baby’s skin is delicate and should not be washed excessively.
The pH level of the baby’s skin acidifies from 6.4 at birth to 4.9 a week after birth.
The process serves as a natural protection against bacteria. If you use strong skin products like lotions or soaps, they may interfere with the process.
Breastfeeding moms should stick to a probiotic-rich diet to prevent baby acne.
Foods rich in probiotics include kimchi, yogurt, kefir, or dark chocolate.
This diet reduces the symptoms of many illnesses such as diarrhea, allergies, acid reflux and colic among others.
Baby Acne Will Pass
It’s not surprising to see parents worry over what is baby acne.
But, if you have any questions or if infantile acne persists, consult your pediatrician.
What Is Baby Acne Resources;
 Mayo Clinic; Baby acne, March 09, 2018.
 Mayo Clinic; Cradle cap, August 04, 2017.
 National Eczema Association; An Overview of the Different Types of Eczema.
 Health Line; Baby Acne: Causes, Treatments, and More.
 Mama Natural; Baby Acne: What Causes It & How to Treat Naturally, Genevieve Howland, August 21, 2018.
 Medscape; Beyond Spaghetti and Meatballs: Skin Diseases Associated With the Malassezia Yeasts, Nikki A. Levin, 2009.
 Dr. Greene; Infantile Acne; Khanh-Van Le-Bucklin, Liat Simkhay Snyder, Rebecca Hicks, April 08, 1999.
 Mama Natural; Probiotics for Infants: Everything You Need to Know, Genevieve Howland, August 17, 2008
 Parenting Healthy Babies; 9 Effective Home Remedies for Treating Baby Acne Quickly and Naturally, February 17, 2018.
 US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health; Infant Skin-Cleansing Product Versus Water: A Pilot Randomized, Assessor-Blinded Controlled Trial, Tina Lavender, Carol Bedwell, Deiri O’Brien, Michael j. Cork, Mark Turner, Anna Hart, May 13, 2011.
Mama Natural; Baby Acne: What Causes It & How To Treat Naturally, Genevieve Howland, August 21, 2018.