Baby acne is a skin rash in the form of small white dots located mainly on the skin of the chin, cheeks and nasolabial folds. Baby acne occurs in children of the first 6 months of life and is associated with hormonal changes occurring in the body. When they appear, adequate care of the baby’s face skin is important, aimed at preventing inflammation of acne elements. Diagnosis and treatment of baby acne is necessary only when they are infected with the development of an inflammatory reaction. In most cases, baby acne passes spontaneously within a few weeks.
Baby acne occurs in 20-30% of children. Their appearance is most often noted in those newborns whose mothers suffered from various forms of acne. In the classification of acne, newborn acne refers to childhood blackheads. Unlike other forms of acne in this age group, they do not pose any danger to the baby and are prone to rapid resolution. Therefore, when elements similar to acne form on the baby’s face, parents should not worry. A little patience, proper care of the baby’s skin — and they will disappear by themselves.
The appearance of acne in newborns is associated with blockage of the narrow ducts of the superficial sebaceous glands of the skin due to the thickening of their secretions. Modern dermatology believes that the reason for this is the endocrine factor. Many authors attribute baby acne to manifestations of hormonal crisis of newborns, which can be expressed in physiological mastopathy (breast swelling), edema of the external genitalia, the development of hydrocele in boys and the appearance of metrorrhagia in girls. This condition is usually observed from the 3rd to the 8th day of the child’s life. It is temporary and is associated with a large number of female sex hormones (estrogens) that entered the child’s body at the end of its intrauterine development.
Baby acne is a separate few closed or open comedones. Closed comedones have the appearance of pearlescent-white or yellowish papules 1-2mm in size. Over time, they can transform into open gums, having the appearance of characteristic black dots. In some cases, along with comedones, isolated pustules or papules surrounded by a pinkish rim may appear on the skin of a newborn.
As a rule, baby acne is localized on the skin of the face: cheeks, chin, nose, nasolabial and nasolabial folds, sometimes on the skin in the occipital region. Boys may have baby acne on the skin of the penis.
Baby acne is characterized by rapid, spontaneous resolution within 1-2 weeks. After their disappearance, no traces remain on the skin. The situation may be complicated by infection. Then there are inflammatory signs in the form of swelling and redness of the skin on the periphery of acne, the transformation of elements into pustules with purulent yellow discharge occurs. Possible development of streptoderma, streptococcal impetigo, furunculosis, the occurrence of other types of pyoderma.
Diagnosis and treatment
When acne appears in newborns, consultation with a dermatologist is necessary only in case of complications. However, if the rash worries parents, it is always better to consult a doctor. To clarify the diagnosis, the specialist will conduct a dermatoscopy of the rashes and pH-metry of the skin, if signs of infection are detected, he will take the separated elements for bacteriological examination.
Unlike other types of acne, newborn acne itself does not require treatment. Proper care of the baby’s skin is important: regular hygiene procedures, air and sun baths. It is not recommended to use creams, baby oils, lotions and other cosmetic products for the care of the newborn’s face without necessity.
In no case should you try to squeeze out the baby acne! This can lead to the penetration of infection into the sebaceous gland and the development of an inflammatory process in it.
In case of infection with acne, the treatment of newborns is carried out according to the general principles of therapy of infectious skin lesions. The skin is treated with antiseptics, disinfectant solutions and antibacterial drugs. It is possible to use local laser therapy. If necessary, local treatment is supplemented with restorative measures: vitamin therapy, immunocorrection, etc.