“My newborn has pimples” is a common concern among mothers. Every mom wants a smooth, soft skin for their baby but baby acne often gets in the way. Now, what home remedies for baby acne work safely without leaving undesirable side-effects? Well, baby acne clears away over a few days or weeks, but if it bothers you, you can use one of various home remedies to get rid of the bumps and spots. We’ll list some of them below including natural treatments that are considered the safest for your baby’s delicate skin.
If your baby’s face is dotted with red (and maybe a few white), pimple-like bumps that tend to see worse when your little one is fussy, then high chances are you are dealing with a case of baby acne.
Also referred to as neonatal acne, baby acne is caused by sharing and exchange of hormones between the mother and the baby especially during the last three months of the pregnancy.
Baby acne tends to coincide with the time when baby’s gas production and fussiness is at its height. The pimples and rash associated with baby acne typically occur on the face, with the cheeks, forehead, and chin being common trouble areas, but they can as well occur on the chest and back.
Is baby acne normal? Yes. The condition is very common – estimated to affect about 20 percent of all newborn babies – but is usually not a cause for concern.
First of all, baby acne doesn’t cause your little one discomfort. Secondly, It heals away own its own without the need for treatment according to the Medline Plus. Another good thing about baby acne is that it doesn’t leave behind scars like those associated with teenage pimples.
Baby acne is easily be confused with milia. These are white bumps (with no rash on the skin) resembling whiteheads that are present at birth but disappear within a few weeks. Unlike baby acne, milia are comprised of dead skin cells that are trapped beneath the surface of the skin or inside the mouth in small pockets referred to as Epstein’s pearls.
When Does Baby Acne Go Away?
- 1 When Does Baby Acne Go Away?
- 2 Home Remedies for Baby Acne
- 3 Natural Remedies for Baby Acne
Before we jump into specific home remedies for baby acne, let’s answer this vital question; you may just find that you don’t really need to use them after reading this section.
Baby acne may show up as red or white bumps on the baby’s face at birth, but in most cases, it shows up at 3-4 weeks of age.
According to the WebMD, the red bumps and rashes can last for weeks or even months before they finally disappear but as Dr. Alan Greene, a pediatrician based in San Mateo, California, points out, a resurgence of the bumps and rash is also possible where they come and go until the baby reaches 4-6 months of age.
Baby acne that is particularly severe or seems to have a tendency to come and go back every now may be an early signal of impending acne problem in the teen years ahead.
When to be concerned about baby acne: Although baby pimple rash will clear away without treatment, you should be concerned if the bumps and rash are accompanied by symptoms such as fever, lethargy, cough, and poor appetite (your baby doesn’t want to feed). In the presence of these symptoms, it is advisable to go see your pediatrician urgently.
Home Remedies for Baby Acne
Baby acne is stressful to any parents but there is one amazingly powerful yet easy measure that can help heal the condition; leave it alone and only wash your baby’s face with mild soap and water as you normally do and those red bumps and rashes will be gone faster than you know.
If that doesn’t sound like a nice option, however, there are several home remedies for baby acne that can come to your aid in reducing the symptoms.
1. Daily Facial Cleansing
Cleansing your baby’s face daily will do wonders for your baby’s skin, just as it does to teenagers or adults with acne breakouts. Of all the measures highlighted in this article, nothing comes close to this in the level of ease, in my opinion. Cleansing helps to get rid of excess oil, but if done too regularly, it can irritate the skin and reverse the gain achieved.
Simply wash your baby’s face with warm water and mild moisturizing baby soap and then pat the skin dry with a clean towel once a day.
Cornstarch has great natural skin drying properties that come in handy in the treatment of baby acne. By removing the excess oil in the skin, cornstarch can help overcome the problem. You should however not go overboard with cornstarch as it can make your baby skin too dry or even irritate it; once daily is enough.
- To a teaspoon of cornstarch, add a small amount of water (at room temperature) and stir thoroughly.
- Dab a thin layer of the resulting cornstarch-water mixture onto the affected areas of your baby’s skin.
- Allow the mixture time to dry naturally, say for one hour, and then rinse it off with warm water and then pat the skin dry with a clean towel.
- Repeat the treatment regularly – but no more than once a day – until you get the desired results.
Vinegar also constitutes a great baby acne cure, thanks to its antimicrobial and oil-soaking ability.
The strength of this common home ingredient is also its downside; it may be particularly harsh on the baby’s delicate skin. Luckily overcoming that limitation is pretty easy; all you need to do is sufficiently dilute your vinegar with water as explained below:
- Mix vinegar and water in the ratio of 1:10. That is to mean that for every part of vinegar used, add 10 such parts water e.g. 1 teaspoon vinegar to 10 spoons water.
- Dab a small amount to the inside of your baby’s wrist first to ensure that the solution is not too sensitive for her delicate skin. If the skin becomes reddened, discontinue this remedy.
- If the solution doesn’t irritate the wrist, you may then safely apply it to the face (on the affected areas only).
- Let the solution sit on for 1 minute and then wash it off with warm water.
Caution: Never use concentrated vinegar on an infant’s skin. It can burn her skin.
Oatmeal does an excellent job of skin moisturizing and soothing and makes for yet another great baby acne remedy. As good as it is in soothing the symptoms of baby acne, oatmeal can be very irritating when it gets to your baby’s eyes and that disqualifies it as a homemade solution for baby acne on the face. Nevertheless, it can still be used for treatment in other parts of the body.
Here is how to care for baby acne with oatmeal:
- Get a one-third cup of oatmeal and blend it into a fine powder. Your blender or food processor will come in handy for the purpose.
- Fill your bathtub with warm water and then pour in the oatmeal powder.
- Continue swirling the water with your hands until all the powder has been distributed evenly.
- Treat your baby to the nourishing and soothing benefits of an oatmeal bath for 10 minutes taking care not to get oatmeal into her eyes.
- After ten minutes, pat the baby’s skin dry (without rinsing it).
- Repeat the process once daily or every other day and those acne bumps and rashes will soon clear up.
If you don’t have oatmeal, you can make do with commercial oatmeal products e.g. Aveeno Baby Wash.
Although listed among the top home remedies for baby acne, oatmeal should be used with care to avoid eye irritation.
5. Baby Powder
Baby powder (or talcum powder if you like), can also help to treat baby acne at home. This is attributed to its ability to dry excess oils in the skin. And the best part, it doesn’t clog the skin pores. Just make sure that the active ingredient is either talc or cornstarch and you will be good to go. Natural baby powders e.g. Burt’s Bees are also good.
- Clean your baby’s skin and then sprinkle a generous amount of baby powder on the affected areas.
- With your fingertips, spread the powder gently.
- Repeat several times daily as needed.
Caution: Baby powder can have harmful effects when inhaled. Exercise caution when applying it near the nose.
6. Eucerin Aquaphor for Baby Acne
The search for the ultimate solution for baby acne continues and skin care creams not originally meant for baby acne have increasingly been finding their way into the list of home remedies for baby acne.
First, it was Sudocrem but now it seems like Eucerin is gaining popularity in this area with questions such as “Is Aquaphor good for baby acne?” making rounds on the internet.
Now, according to the Health Line website, baby acne is often confused with allergic reactions and eczema. In the case of eczema, which people often describe as “dry baby acne”, over the counter products such as Eucerin Aquaphor Healing Ointment may help and so can Vanicream and California Baby Calendula Cream.
Your pediatrician could as well recommend a mild topical medication if s/he deems it necessary.
Natural Remedies for Baby Acne
As for the cautious moms who are scared about or hesitant to use potentially harsh, inorganic chemicals on their little ones and would rather know how to help baby acne go away naturally, we have as well taken care of you. Consider one of the following natural remedies for baby acne.
Breast Milk for Baby Acne
Breast milk is one of the best holistic natural cures for infant acne. Taken orally, breast milk helps to not only nourish but also boost your baby’s immunity and ability to fight common medical ailments.
That is however not the furthest that the value of breast milk goes; it is also very effective in treating neonatal acne.
This is thought to be the result of the antimicrobial action of the lauric acid and the mild exfoliating properties of glyconutrients in breast milk.
How to Treat Baby Acne Naturally With Breast Milk
- Wash the affected area of your baby’s face with warm water.
- Soak a cotton wool in your breast milk and dab it gently over the area.
- Allow the ilk to dry up naturally
- Repeat several times each day and those red bumps and rash will soon clear up.
A word of caution: Breast milk is, in a funny twist of events, thought to be one of the common triggers of baby acne flare-ups. So, use it very sparingly (only on the affected areas), and in case of spills, wipe your baby dry.
Honey and Lemon Juice
Both honey and lemon juice are known to have natural anti-inflammatory properties and together they constitute one of the best natural remedies for baby acne. To treat baby acne naturally using honey and lemon, follow the following steps:
- Mix one teaspoon each of honey and freshly prepared lemon juice
- Stir the ingredients thoroughly to blend them in well
- Soak a cotton swab in the solution and then dab it gently on the affected areas of your baby’s face
- Allow it to do its work for 30 minutes and then wash it off with warm water.
- Faintly pat the skin dry with a clean towel that has not been washed in harsh detergents as they can aggravate the condition.
Coconut Oil for Baby Acne
Coconut oil has amazing soothing and hydrating properties for the skin and many moms will vouch for its effectiveness in getting rid of baby acne. It is touted to be one of the best natural home remedies for baby acne.
Because it is a gentle natural product, coconut oil is safe enough to be used on baby skin. And the best part, it has natural antimicrobial properties that will help to protect your infant’s skin.
For best results, it is advisable to look for organic, unrefined, extra virgin coconut oil.
How to Help Baby Acne Go Away With Coconut Oil
- With clean hands (or a cotton wool), dab a few drops of coconut oil to the affected areas of your baby’s face.
- Allow it to dry naturally.
- Repeat the treatment 3 to 4 times daily until you get the desired results. You will see an improvement in your baby’s skin within a few applications judging from mothers’ feedback online.
Watch your Baby’s Diet
You might know how to clear up baby acne and follow everything there is to it, but still unknowingly trigger it back by passing “harmful” elements through breast milk.
Although it is still subject to varying opinions, oily and greasy foods are thought to cause or worsen baby acne. You will want to go low on such foods when breastfeeding.
It is also important to take adequate amounts of water every day as water helps to flush toxins out of the body.
As Skin Help also notes, eating lots of vegetables and fruits that are rich in vitamins and minerals will also help to nourish your baby’s skin and keep it healthy.
Some moms have also reported improvement in their baby’s skin after drinking dandelion tea.
More Tips for Baby Acne
In addition to the above-listed home remedies for baby acne, the following tips are worth the consideration:
- After a bath, gently pat your baby’s face dry as opposed to wiping it.
- Avoid scrubbing or pinching the acne bumps. This will only cause irritation and worsen the condition, not to mention that it could even cause infection.
- Avoid using oily lotions and creams on your baby’s face.
- NEVER use over-the-counter medications formulated for teenage or adult acne unless instructed by your pediatrician.
- If the acne flare-up extends beyond 6 months of age or gets severe (characterized by cysts or pus-filled pimples) seek the attention of your pediatrician.
- Avoid using harsh detergents on your baby’s clothes. This can cause irritation and make baby acne worse. Natural, organic detergents are an especially good choice.
These are just some of the home remedies for baby acne used by moms. Many mothers have benefitted from and will vouch for the efficacy of these natural cures and you will as well likely do.