1:47 min| 435,768 views
If your baby has pimples on her face, don't fret. Baby acne is harmless, doesn't require treatment, and usually clears up on its own. In this video, Dr. Dawn Rosenberg explains what to do and what not to do when it comes to handling baby acne.
Dr. Dawn Rosenberg, M.D., FAAP, is a board-certified general pediatrician in San Francisco. She is very committed to teaching and is actively involved in medical student and resident education as an Associate Clinical Professor in the Department of Pediatrics at University of California, San Francisco.
Baby acne is very common. It's typical in the first few weeks of life. And luckily it's usually harmless.
You'll notice white or red pimples on your baby's face and even extending to her upper back. Unlike milia, which is another rash found in babies, acne tends to have redness around it, whereas milia tends to be tiny little white or yellow dots found on your baby's nose or around her cheeks.
We don't really know what causes baby acne. We think it might be from overstimulation of your baby's oil glands from mom's hormones or inflammation of her skin from overgrowth of fungus.
Luckily, baby acne does not need to be treated. In fact, it really doesn't bother your baby. Left alone, it'll resolve in a few weeks, usually by the time she's 4 months old. I would not recommend using oils, like baby oil or coconut oil, on the face. That may make it worse. And please don't pinch or pop those pimples. That might lead to infection or scarring. I also discourage scrubbing your baby's face. These pimples are not caused by dirt, and scrubbing may irritate her face.
You can wash her face daily with water and a gentle hypoallergenic baby soap. If the acne's really bad, you can also try a gentle moisturizer or an ointment. In severe cases of baby acne, your doctor may prescribe a topical steroid, like hydrocortisone.
I'd recommend that you call your doctor if you notice your baby's acne spreading all over her body, especially if it goes below the nipple line, or if your baby seems to be really uncomfortable. Also, if the pimples have yellow oozing discharge or if the acne is lasting longer than four months, it's probably worth a visit to your doctor.
Video production by Paige Bierma.