Treatment of Infant Acne

A common childhood ailment is infant acne.  Infant acne is related to the child’s exposure to the mother’s hormones during pregnancy.  It is characterized by small red bumps on the cheeks and chin.  Occasionally an infant may also develop milia which are white bumps in that same area. Infant acne is not like teenage acne, it is not caused by oils and dirt that have clogged pores. Because it is related directly to hormonal exposure it is important to treat infant acne in a different manner.

The best way to treat infant acne is to leave it alone.  Infant acne will likely go away in several weeks and the best treatment for this is to not aggravate the acne.  By not touching or irritating the areas that are affected you decrease the chances of make the acne worse. The best plan would be to ignore that the acne is there and let nature take its course.

As a parent it is hard to accept that there are some things that we cannot control such as this phase of acne in an infant.  A positive step that you can take is to clean the area once a day with a mild baby soap and soft rag, patting the area gently dry; this will remove irritants such as milk and saliva. Remember when you are cleaning the baby do not scrub the face.  Skin already irritated will become more so and likely so will your child. 

If, after three months, the area has not healed or the acne seems to be getting worse then you may want, contact your pediatrician so that a doctor can evaluate the situation. Only a pediatrician should write a prescription for a medicated cream that is safe for your baby if it becomes necessary.

Here is a do’s and don’t list regarding the treatment of infant acne:

Do remain calm; remember that this is a temporary condition and that many babies have infant acne.

Do leave the affected area alone as much as possible.

Do clean the area once a day and pat dry.

Do call and talk to your pediatrician or nurse for reassurances if you need them.

Do have patience, infant acne will go away on its own.

Don’t scrub the area with anything, this will only irritate your baby.

Don’t medicate your infant with over the counter treatments.

Don’t touch, squeeze or press the red or white bumps, this will irritate the area.

Finally if you have any questions regarding best treatment of any kind for an infant, do not hesitate to contact a pediatrician. They will have the most knowledge and best advice for the care of your baby.