The ABC’s of Life With Your Newborn – Newborn Acne

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A is for Acne

Your baby is here and you couldn’t be happier. You’ve recovered from the birth and now you’re ready for your family’s big day. Pictures! But as you book your photoshoot you notice small red bumps developing on your baby’s face. Then it hits you, newborn acne!

newborn acneOne of the parting gifts that we give our babies at birth is a final dose of our hormones. Our hormones stimulate the baby’s oil-producing glands and cause tiny pimples to appear most commonly on the baby’s face. Some babies will also experience newborn acne on their neck, head, chest, and back. Acne typically appears from around 2-4 weeks post birth. For many babies, it will clear up on its own in just a few weeks to a few months.

While there’s no “cure” for newborn acne, there are some things you can do to nurture your baby’s delicate skin.

  • Avoid products made for adults. They won’t help resolve the acne and they can cause allergic reactions and dryness of baby’s delicate skin.
  • Do not put lotions or use soap on the affected areas. 
  • Wash baby’s skin with warm water using a soft cloth 2-3 times a day. Remember, instead of rubbing dry, pat gently.
  • Do not pick at or squeeze the acne spots. This can damage the baby’s delicate skin and lead to infection. 

When the going gets tough, the baby gets acne.

For many babies, acne shows up in those first 6 weeks after birth. Right in the middle of all the physical and emotional roller coasters that are post-birth recovery for the people who care for them.

For some parents, newborn acne may cause feelings of concern or even disappointment.  You’ve waited nine months for your beautiful baby to arrive. So it’s understandable that seeing this precious tiny human with red bumps on their face can be distressing.

You can feel helpless and for those parents who have a history of acne, it can be triggering. It is important to remember that newborn acne is not predictive of acne later in life. And unlike teenage or adult acne, baby acne does not cause scarring.

While you may be tempted to hold off on pictures of your newborn until their skin clears, try to embrace this temporary phase and capture those early precious moments.

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