Baby acne: The cause and what can be done about it?

After 9 months of waiting you can finally take your baby in your arms and show off with it. But in one go, several pimples and pimples appear. What that is? That is baby acne and occurs regularly in young babies. Besides that it is not very beautiful, it is fortunately not dangerous for your baby. Read here what causes baby acne and when it goes away.

What is baby acne?

Baby acne is actually comparable to the youth pimples and blackheads that you used to have in your puberty. There are red bumps, real pimple with white head and black dots (blackheads). Baby acne is caused by prolonged inflammation of the sebaceous glands in the skin.

Usually the inflammation is caused by the sebaceous glands being extra sensitive to certain hormones. Sebum production increases under the influence of the hormones, which results in the pores becoming clogged with sebum. Small fat bumps are then visible. When the sebum can not get away well, the sebaceous glands become inflamed and the pimples become larger.

But where do those hormones come from where the sebaceous glands of your baby are so sensitive?

There are many people who think that babies get acne because of the hormones in breast milk, but that is not true. The hormones for which your baby is sensitive, you pass on during the pregnancy via the placenta. After the birth the hormones remain in the body of your child for a few weeks. That causes the baby acne. The acne becomes visible when the baby is about 2 to 4 weeks old. And often looks like small blockages (white dots) on the skin.

Treat baby acne

Baby acne is generally very harmless and disappears automatically after a few weeks. The only thing that is annoying is that it is a little bit disfigured your sweet little child. Try to hold yourself back and stay away from the acne! Do not squeeze out and do not rub any remedies on it, otherwise you can make it worse!

Baby acne and ENT

Another type of baby acne is ENT: Erythema Neonatorum Toxicum. ENT is visible a few days after birth and lasts 5 to 7 days. In some cases your baby may suffer from it for months. ENT is on the face, neck and shoulders. The bumps look pale, yellow or white and they feel solid. The size of these bumps can vary from 1 to 3 millimeters. The bumps can look like bigger pustules, vesicles and sometimes hives.

Like baby acne, ENT disappears automatically and your baby does not need treatment. You can always go to the doctor for certainty.

When to the doctor?

Both baby acne and ENT is innocent and goes away automatically. In some cases a treatment is required. You can go to the doctor if you notice the following:

  • Your baby gets acne after more than a week and the acne is greater than 3 millimeters. In addition, blackheads are also visible.
  • The bumps are mainly around the nose and mouth and have honey-yellow crusts.
  • There are only vesicles with moisture in different sizes.

Baby acne smearing breast milk

There are people who claim that baby acne gets less when you put breast milk on it. To be honest, I have not found any scientific information that supports this finding. If you have experiences with this, we would love to hear it. What I have been able to find is that you can sit on it as little as possible!

Baby acne cow milk allergy

Sometimes it appears that your baby has acne, but there is actually a cow's milk allergy. If your baby suffers from cow's milk allergy, pimples may appear that resemble acne. The difference is that the pimples get crusts quickly.
In addition to bumps your baby often also suffer from other complaints such as itching, eczema, raised face or eyes, colic or diarrhea. Read more about cow's milk allergy here.

Baby acne or eczema?

Acne and eczema are two different skin conditions. Eczema is often caused by heredity. If you had eczema, for example, there is a chance that your baby will get it.

Characteristic of eczema is that it appears after 3 to 4 months (in acne this is often after a few days or weeks).

Eczema starts on the face and especially the cheeks and ears. It then spreads to the upper body such as the arms, legs, wrists and ankles. The spots are red, scaly and moist. They do not therefore look like real pimples. More information about eczema can be found here.

Baby acne child and family

Baby acne and ENT are both unavoidable, so you can not do anything yourself to ensure that your baby, or your child later in life, will not be bothered by it. If your baby has had acne, the chances are likely that your child will also experience a little more pain in puberty later on. Acne is annoying and disfiguring, but usually disappears automatically. If it is very present, you can always go to the doctor so that you can refer you to a dermatologist.

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