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How To Soothe Baby Acne?

About 20% of all infants suffer from acne. Although it sometimes worries parents, the pimples that appear on a baby's face are usually harmless. Why does an infant suffer from acne? How can it be recognized and alleviated? Here are the most important facts about acne in infants.

Published March 11, 2024, by Sandrine, Scientific Editor — 3 min read

How To Identify Baby Acne?

Baby acne occurs in 20% of newborns, and most often among boys in the first month of life. It is manifested by the outbreak of red pimples on the baby's face. They usually appear on the baby's forehead, cheeks, and chin. The chest, shoulders and upper back are rarely affected. It is a temporary acne that disappears without treatment a few months after it appears.

This is due to a rise of androgenic hormones in pregnant women, especially in the late stages of pregnancy. The baby's body responds to the hormones by overproducing sebum, causing the skin to become oily and pimples to appear. A possible role of bacteria is also discussed.

What To Do About Baby Acne?

Normally, no special treatment is necessary. The use of a mild cleanser suitable for newborns is sufficient. In fact, baby acne typically disappears after one to three weeks without leaving a scar. Be patient and gentle. If in doubt, consult a doctor.

Baby Acne: What Mistakes Should You Avoid?

There are some things you should not do if your baby has acne:

  • Mistake 1: Popping or scratching the pimples

    If you touch the pimples with your hands, it can lead to bacterial infection. By doing so, the healing time may be prolonged. Apart from leaving scars, infection can have serious consequences for the baby's skin. Do not rub the pimples during daily cleansing, as this can cause irritation. It is recommended to use a sterile cotton ball or compress.

  • Mistake 2: Use of greasy care products

    Greasy skin care products (cream, lotion, liniment, soap, oil, etc.) promote sebum production. If you apply them, it may cause pimples on baby's skin.

  • Mistake 3: Using skin care products specifically designed for teenage acne.

    An infant's skin is still too sensitive and immature. Using teenage or adult skin care products may cause skin irritation.

Important note: Never hesitate to consult your child's doctor.


  • VIDAURRI-DE LA CRUZ H. & al. Acne in the newborn. Boletín Médico del Hospital Infantil de México (2021).


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