Thursday, July 28, 2011

Baby Acne

I keep thinking of a particular Seinfeld episode whenever I hear folks comment on "how cute" my newborn looks.  Right now he looks like an adolescent with so many pimples all over his cheeks and forehead.

So baby acne is fairly common.  Here is the quick 101:

What does it look like?
Usually you will see little red bumps or pustules on the cheeks, chin, and forehead.

What caused it?
Mommy's hormones during pregnancy!  It is more common in boys (I don't recall this with my girls) and looks worse when baby is fussing and crying.

How do you treat it?
There is really nothing you can do to prevent it and the best treatment is to just wait it out.  Scrubbing and washing too hard or too often and using a lot of soap and lotion can actually make it worse.  Usually it will go away on its own in a few weeks but can linger for up to 6 months.  In very bad cases, something like benzoyl peroxide may be prescribed but definitely check with your pediatrician first. 

So in the meantime:
  • wash baby's face with warm water 2-3 times a day;  use mild moisturizing soap several times/week
  • pat skin dry
  • do not pinch or scrub the acne
  • avoid lotions and oils