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Baby acne may appear immediately after birth and should resolve spontaneously by about 18-20. month of the baby's life. Typical symptoms of acne are tiny white, heat-like blackheads or small, red, lumpy spots most commonly found on the cheeks, forehead, and sometimes also on the child's temples and chin.
Althoughbaby acnemanifests itself with rather characteristic pimples, it is sometimes confused with a protein flaw, atopic dermatitis or other allergic reaction, e.g. to foods introduced into the diet.
How to recognize it? It can occur as early as the second week after childbirth, then we refer to it asneonatal acne . Small blemishes or single red spots are visible especially when the baby cries or overheats, e.g. when the baby is too thickly dressed. However, they turn pale under the influence of colder air, e.g. during a walk.
Baby acne appears most often around the fourth month of life, but it sometimes also occurs in around 15-16-month-old children. As with neonatal acne, tiny white comedones, usually closed, resembling heat rash, appear on the face and can develop into small, red, lumpy spots. The more advanced form of acne can lead to purulent pustules, which are so numerous that they merge all over the baby's mouth.
Where does baby acne come from?
Doctors are not quite able to answer the question of where does baby acne come from. Most of them believe that the cause is the sex hormones - androgens, which enter the baby's bloodstream through the placenta during pregnancy, and can be delivered with breast milk after birth. Therefore, it was noticed that infant acne usually occurs in breastfed children, more often in boys than in girls.
Some doctors believe, however, that baby acne is caused by not fully developed seborrheic glands, the work of which may be additionally disturbed by improper care. Some people believe that it is caused by an allergy to one type of yeast found on the skin of a child.
Regardless of the causes ofbaby acnethe most important thing is to make a correct diagnosis. Any eczema on the child's skin should be consulted with a doctor,which will confirm that we are dealing withbaby acne , and not, for example, with a protein blemish (usually occurs in babies over three or four months of age), seborrheic dermatitis, an infection caused by bacterial or food allergy.
How to treat baby acne?
If baby acne appeared in the first few months of a baby's life, most doctors do not prescribe medications, but recommend proper care of the baby's skin. Only cosmetics intended for babies should be used, preferably those whose safety has been confirmed by appropriate approvals.
Pediatricians also usually advise against using mineral oils or other cosmetics that can clog the baby's delicate pores and interfere with the seborrheic glands. You should also remember about moisturizing the baby's skin, because when it is dry, the spots and blemishes become inflamed, which causes the baby to scratch the face, which in turn can lead to bacterial infection.
Appropriate clothing is also important, adapted to the temperature and season. The best outfit is for the so-called onion, the point is not to overheat the baby. Sometimes a mild form of baby acne is the result of skin irritation caused by the skin coming into contact with synthetic textiles or the use of inappropriate detergents. That is why it is so important to put on your child clothes made of materials that will not adversely affect his delicate skin, it is also good to wash all clothes in powders or milk specially designed for young children.
When should baby acne go away?
Baby acne should resolve spontaneously, up to 18-20 months of age. However, if the changes on the skin are still clearly visible, what is more, they become inflamed, it is necessary to consult a pediatrician or dermatologist again and implement anti-inflammatory and anti-acne treatment. Especially if acne has already occurred in the immediate family of the baby (mum, dad or siblings), because it may mean that the disease is genetic.
Fortunately, prescription medications are effective in treating baby acne and there is little risk of any scars left on the baby's skin, which is often a worry for parents of babies.