What are the Causes of Baby Acne & How Long Does Baby Acne Last?|Do’s & Don’ts of Baby Acne

Is your baby’s “oh-so-soft” skin covered with tiny red rashes? Do you know that these rashes may actually be baby acne? Yes, you read it right! Just like adults, even babies get acne. Baby acne, sometimes also referred to as new born acne or milk rash, is common in infants, and is really nothing to be worried about. It is basically defined as a skin condition where tiny red pimples or bumps appear on the face and body of a baby. Like acne in teens and adults, whiteheads or white pustules may also develop with the reddish skin surrounding the bumps. Baby acne can first appear at any time during the first 6 months of a baby’s life, especially when the baby is 3 to 6 weeks old. The good news about baby acne is that it’s more of a nuisance and is generally not bothersome for the babies. Baby acne generally cures on its own without any treatment. Wondering what causes baby acne and how long does it last? Read the following to know about the causes and recovery period of baby acne.

What Are The Causes Of Baby Acne?

Do you know what triggers baby acne? Well, the exact cause of this skin issue is yet to be ascertained. However, it is believed that baby acne is also caused by the same things that cause acne in adults. A combination of oils, hormones and bacteria are thought to be responsible for triggering these red bumps. It is also believed that the mother’s lingering hormones combined with the baby’s own oils give rise to baby acne. This is the reason behind the baby acne being at its worst during the first month of the baby’s life.

How Long Does Baby Acne Last?

How Long Does Baby Acne Last?

If your baby is suffering from acne, you would most definitely want these rashes to disappear magically and your baby to regain their soft and smooth skin in no time. So, how long does baby acne actually last? Baby acne may be present at the time of birth. However, it most commonly develops within 2 to 4 weeks after birth. Baby acne lasts for a few days or even a few weeks, and in severe cases it can even persist for several months.

What Are The Do’s And Don’ts Of Baby Acne?

Baby acne is typically harmless and usually disappears without any treatment. However, in certain cases the acne may become severe if the baby is fussy or crying. Any contact with rough fabrics or any saliva or spit up that stays for too long on the baby’s face can also irritate the baby acne. One should never squeeze or pinch the acne, scrub the baby’s face or apply any kind of skin lotion or cream. Over-the-counter acne treatments, lotions and face washes must also never be applied on the baby’s skin as the infant’s derma is highly sensitive. The baby’s face should be kept clean by washing it with lukewarm water and applying a very mild soap on it. One should be patient as baby acne resolves on its own in a short period of time.

When Should One Seek Medical Help for Baby Acne?

Although there is no treatment for baby acne, one should still consult their paediatrician if they are worried about these bumps on their baby’s skin. Some babies may have acne that lingers for several months instead of just a few weeks. To treat this persistent form of baby acne, the paediatrician may prescribe a medicated ointment or cream that could prove useful in clearing up the baby acne.


With yellow- reddish bumps on the baby’s face, baby acne resembles teenager acne. Because of how it looks, baby acne often causes worry for the parents. If you are also one of these worried parents, just relax! Baby acne is generally harmless and gets cured on its own in a month’s time. There is not much you can really do to treat baby acne as most medical treatments have a harsh effect on the baby’s tender skin. They end up inflaming and dehydrating the skin and making baby acne even worse. Thus, while you patiently wait for your baby’s acne to clean up, it’s best to try simple home remedies to keep your baby’s skin as healthy as possible.

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Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:November 15, 2021

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