Your joy as new parents should encounter a short break when you are looking for a solution on how to get rid of baby acne. It is not yet puberty period, but the pimples are covering your baby’s face! Some parents will immediately fall into a state of panic. What did I do wrong? Does it hurt the baby? These questions exploding on their mind like a firework. To prevent such catastrophe, you better start learning about baby acne.
What Is Baby Acne & How To Get Rid Of Baby Acne ?
Before discussing the key point: how to get rid of baby acne, you need to know the definition first. Baby acne is skin problem which appears as reddish, swelling dots, several weeks after the delivery. It is a part of natural skin maturation: from infant skin to baby skin. The acne usually pops up on the forehead, chin and ears. In some cases, the acne grows on the back, too. This skin condition occurs in 40% population of newborn. It is totally normal for first time mom to get surprised when baby acne pops up.
There are two types of baby acne: neonatal and infantile. The first one appears during the first to three months after baby’s birth. The last one shows up on the third to six months of age. With proper care and treatment, infantile acne will disappear after a year or two.
What Are The Causes?
The main reason is hormonal changes. While just a few weeks away from delivery, the baby inside the womb is still developing its muscles tissue. Mother’s body also injects more testosterone, helping the baby to complete muscle formation in lungs. It is important to help breathing process outside the womb. The side effects of this hormone will not be seen until weeks after the born day. A gland called sebaceous which is located under the skin tissue begins to produce massive oil. Along with this process, the life cycle of infant skin is just around the corner. As a result, dead skin piles up inside the pores and also barricade the oil. The final appearance is baby acne.
How Long Will It Last?
It depends on the baby’s skin, and also the execution of how to get rid of baby acne methods. The better you clean the dead skin, the sooner the pimples disappear. The shortest period known is three to six weeks. Consequently, the longest period is six months. If your newborn suffers from this condition more than half a year, immediately contact your doctor. There might be some hormonal issue within the infant’s body.
When Does It Appear Worst?
Even though baby acne doesn’t hurt your newborn, it will be more distinctive under several conditions. They are hot weather and crying. During these two conditions, the acne is redder and clearly seen. It happens due to blood flow that rushes to the face. As a result, the face turns into bright red, so does the acne. Still, no harm has done to your lovely newborn. But there is no guarantee for your panic state when witnessing the situation. The mothers need to remember that the crying is not because the acne, but something else: hungry, wet pants, or high temperature.
Is There Any Doppelganger?
The symptoms of baby acne are similar to many baby skin problems. How to get rid of baby acne if you are not even sure that it is an acne? Relying on your guts might not be the best solution. You are dealing with fragile and sensitive baby skin, after all.
This is actually trapped dead skin inside the skin pocket. It usually appears on the nose tip as small white spots. Due to its color, milia is also called “milk bumps”. Just like baby acne, this condition will be gone after the new skin formed. The milk bumps could pop inside the mouth, too. If this is the case, then describe it as Epstein pearls, next time you should see a doctor.
- Cradle Cap
Acne is closely related to facial skin. When you see reddish symptoms accompanied with yellow flaky skin, take a closer look and observe carefully. If it has wider shape compared to normal pimple and show up on head and eyebrow, then your baby suffers from cradle cap. It is possible for your newborn to get cradle cap and baby acne at the same time. No one says this condition is adorable, but you can be sure that having two “special” skin conditions are not harmful.
The characteristic of this skin problem is dry, flaky and reddish skin. The triggering factor is contact with allergen (dust mites, pet). Make sure you throw in “baby friendly” product. Detergent and household cleaner damage the skin as well. Mostly, eczema appears on cheeks and scalp. Other areas with high infection possibility are elbow and the back of knees. Eczema gradually grows to full pimple and pops, releasing the trapped fluid inside. It could be gone after a few weeks, but could also stay in the same spots until you grow older.
How to Treat It the Right Way?
Many experts answer your question about how to get rid of baby acne. The next question is whether you follow the instruction appropriately. Always do double check with the do’s list below.
- Giving Regular Bath
Since the acne is caused by clogged dirt on pores, the safest way to end it is by cleaning the dead skin cells regularly. Make sure you use lukewarm water and soft towel. Dab the towel into the water bowl, and then gently scrub the reddish skin. Using the clean and dry side, tap the water until your baby’s face is dry. Make it your daily routine: every morning and afternoon. This process takes weeks or even months, depending on newborn’s skin type and how well the parents clean the face.
- Using Baby Product
Sometimes, the dead skin just won’t come off easily. How to get rid of baby acne? You begin to consider baby soap product. As long as it is from a brand that manufactures infant and underage children products, then the green light is on. Make sure you avoid the liquid to slip into the eyes or mouth. Do the cleaning once in a day only. Too frequent cleaning will irritate the skin, extend the treatment period, and pull out numerous new pimples as well. In addition, choose mild soap and avoid regular soap.
- Applying Over-The-Counter Remedies
Baby acne is not a simple matter. You may share the heartbreaking reason: the appearance is too much to handle. The milky elastic skin is not admirable anymore, replaced with hard reddish complexion. Therefore, it is highly recommended to consult your doctor for specific medication. The most common medications are hydrocortisone and ionic colloidal. 1% hydrocortisone cream could help with the redness, allowing you to join the family photo session. It is important to note that this product is not suitable for daily use. You could only use this cream twice in one day. Ionic colloidal is considered as “better” option for it could wipe up all the bacteria on the acne and reduces itchiness on the affected skin. Both remedies should be applied thinly, creating invisible layer.
- Watching Mother’s Diet
The answer to “how to get rid of baby acne” actually relies on the mother. What mom eats, is what the baby consumes through the milk. A recent report states that mothers, who feed on organic products after giving birth, develop higher chance of skin rash on their babies. It goes to the same direction for baby acne. In order to reduce the pimples, mothers need to cut the portion of sweet menu: sugar, candies, and cakes.
- Dabbing Breast Milk
This method works on some cases. Thus, trying the way doesn’t hurt, right? A number of mothers even claim that this is the fastest and most effective option to eliminate acne. You only need cotton ball. While the lovely newborn is sleeping, try splashing adequate amount of breast milk on him. Squeeze the excessive milk. The ideal one is wet cotton without dripping liquid. Apply it on the affected area three to four times in a day.
- Mixing Honey and Lemon
Both ingredients are popular for its multifunction for health and beauty. Could it provide smart solution on how to get rid of baby acne? Clearly, even though this combination is not the best for delicate baby skin, it does improve the skin health. Mix one teaspoon of lemon and one teaspoon of nectar. Stir it well. By using cotton swab, apply gently on baby acne. Avoid laying the newborn on the floor or its bed. The sweetness of honey will attract ants. Put the baby within your embrace for thirty minutes before thoroughly and carefully wiping the solution with clean towel.
- Washing Pillowcase
Hygiene is the most important factor in raising a baby. Dirty environment will make the baby acne worse. Since the skin condition will last for weeks, do not forget to wash the pillowcase regularly. At least, the bacteria are reduced. Remember not to use fragrant detergent or those with strong chemical composition. Fabric conditioner and synthetic cleaners are also prohibited. All of these cleaning agents affect baby skin, thus worsening the acne.
- Cornstarch Glue
This ingredient never leaves your kitchen. You can take it as an option when the others are not available. Cornstarch has drying ability, which may help with the oily sebaceous part. Simply mix cornstarch with a few drops of water. You are aiming for glue form. Then, apply it thinly on the affected area. As soon as it dries, clean up with clean wet towel. Pick one time to do this routine every day. Repeat the cycle for three to four days to get the best results.
Where Did It Go Wrong?
Even with a detailed instruction, things can always go rid. Don’t end up asking “how to get rid of baby acne safely?” after all the efforts you have put. Resist yourself doing the following things, as it will only make the acne worse and hurts the newborn.
- Scrubbing or Squeezing The Acne
Because the dead skin is visible and slowly turn into eyesore, you might be tempted to scrub it away. By doing this, you think it is a big help and will reduce the reddish part. In fact, it brings the opposite effects: worse acne, and redder spots. Due to the bacteria on the nail used, the pimple also gets bacterial infection. Squeezing is not a good idea either. Don’t forget that these acne is not a bother for the baby. It may become more serious when you pop the pimples: deep irritation and pain for the baby.
- Pouring Hot Water
Before giving a baby bath, you need to make sure that the water temperature is not too hot. It makes the skin decaying process goes even faster. Consequently, there will be a lot of dead skin flakes. They gathered on the pore, which only make the acne worse.
- Using “Baby Face” Product
Don’t be fooled by the label. First of all, this product is not manufactured for infant. The market is teenagers, and the goal is to get baby-like skin: smooth and elastic. It creates fluffy bubble soap and fragrant aroma. Both could injure baby’s delicate skin.
- Applying Benzoyl Peroxide
This substance is what teens choose as their acne savior. It kills bacteria, the culprit of swollen spots on the skin. However, it brings side effects. Even in adult skin, it will leave blemishes if ones only rely on benzoyl peroxide and no other treatment within long period. Could you imagine what will happen to your newborn skin, then? Moreover, bacteria are not the triggering factor. This product is available in two forms: gel and facial wash. Teens, older children and adult are suggested to choose the gel form, as it will stick to the skin better. If you insist to choose this way, then purchase the facial wash one, with 2-2.5% ingredients. Gel is not recommended as the baby constantly moving, and benzoyl peroxide could spread to newborn’s hand, feet, etc.
Compared to all this mess, facial wash is more efficient. You could rinse the foam thoroughly after gently rubbing it on the acne. Remember! The key is to let the chemical substance sits on the skin in adequate time. Longer, you will cause damage to the skin. Too soon, and you get no improvement. In addition to blemishes possibility, you also need to worry about skin irritation. Before washing newborn’s face with the substance, apply it on the heels to check the skin reaction. If after eight hours nothing happened, then you are good to go.
- Rubbing Tea Tree Oil
Many people believe that the answer to: how to get rid of baby acne is by applying tea tree oil. Sure, this fragrant oil is popular as natural disinfectant agent. At the same time, it injects more estrogen to your body. Baby girl doesn’t have problem with this, but the baby boy will. There has been a report that a boy under eight grows breast tissue after his mother bathes him using tea tree oil soap.
- Using Vinegar
Set a thought inside your brain: loud crying of the baby after you apply the vinegar is not a good sign. Instead of getting rid of it, you might get worse acne problem.
- Stopping Breastfeeding
Learning that the main cause of baby pimple is coming from the mother, a theory crosses your mind. By reducing the frequency of breast feeding, there might be less acne. Needless to say, this is a whole misunderstanding. Baby acne is natural phenomenon, and you should worry less about it. Please choose the right solution on how to get rid of baby acne. Keep breast feeding the baby. When the acne period has passed, you will see that there is no blemishes or dark spots on the pimples area.
- Applying Oily Cream
What you see might deceive you. Baby acne will make the illusion of dry skin, thus reinforcing the parents to apply oil-based product to keep it moisturized. As the result, the amount of trapped oil is increased, and the appearance is getting worse than it already is. To reduce the dryness, use moisturizing baby soap instead. After washing the affected facial skin, dry immediately. Another possible option is non-oily cream. Perform a trial on a patch and observe the progress. If your baby’s skin is getting better, then you can proceed to the spreading process. Conversely, you should stop applying the cream.
- Using Adult Face Wash
Adolescent and infant have different layers of skin. In this matter, of course, adult has thicker skin. Thus, it could stand the effect of facial wash. Applying adult face wash to your baby acne will not solve the problem. It makes the fragile skin dry, excessively. Probably that is why any popular face wash brand is never in the list of how to get rid of baby acne solution.