Baby Acne: Causes and Treatment

Unsightly bumps and blemishes on a young infant's skin can be both a cause for concern in parents, and irritation and discomfort for babies - but luckily baby acne is a treatable and temporary condition which should pass on its own after around 3 months. But what exactly is baby acne, and how can you treat it?

What is baby acne?

Baby acne, also known as neonatal acne, is a treatable condition occurring in around 30% of newborn babies. It appears as red bumps and sores, most commonly found on the face and back, and usually starts two to four weeks after birth, lasting for the first few months of an infant’s life. It’s not unusual for babies to be born with acne, so if this is the case with yours - don’t worry! Baby acne doesn’t usually have whiteheads or blackheads, although these can pop up in older babies as infantile acne. 

There are several contributing factors to baby acne, including hormones in both the mother and baby, as well as possible probiotic imbalance or reactions to external substances such as formula or medications. If you’re unsure whether your child’s blemishes are symptoms of baby acne, consult your physician before beginning any treatment, as it can also look similar to eczema or cradle cap.


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How to treat baby acne

Keep Clean

Make sure your baby’s skin is clean, as common substances, such as formula or your baby’s own saliva, can further irritate skin. There’s no need to bathe your baby more than necessary, simply rinse their skin with water and gently pat dry with a gentle cloth.

Stay Away from Irritants

Avoid using products with strong fragrances or nasty chemicals on your baby’s skin. The products adults use to clear up their own acne are too harsh for babies, and common ingredients such as tea tree can burn their gentle skin. Avoid petroleum based products as these can clog the pores and cause further inflammation. 

Gently Moisturise

As baby acne is temporary and usually clears up on its own, the best thing to do is maintain your baby’s overall skin health. To keep irritated skin soothed, try our SOS Baby Balm, which is formulated with natural, organic ingredients. Its hypoallergenic formulation creates a protective barrier without causing further irritation, and gives your baby soft, moisturised skin.

Go for the Tried and Tested

Some folk medicines that wouldn’t cause any problems in adults can be ill-advised for babies, so it’s better to stick with products that have been rigorously tested specifically for babies. For example, parents try washing their babies with chamomile tea, but this isn’t always advisable as brewed tea can contain particles which further irritate the skin. Check out our range of dermatologically tested skincare with chamomile extract to simultaneously protect and safely soothe your baby’s skin here.