Baby acne isn’t an uncommon problem, and it’s one that many parents deal with on a regular basis. However, just because baby acne on the facial area isn’t abnormal doesn’t mean it won’t worry you as a parent. With a newborn or a child under two, anything that could be a cause for concern is a big problem for most parents!

If your child has acne on their face, there are some options that can help you clear up the issue. You might even be surprised at some of the ways you can do it. Use this guide to learn more about baby acne on the face and how you can get rid of it in a timely manner.

My Baby Has Acne on the Face

Acne on your child’s face can seem like a huge deal. The fact is that it’s relatively common, and in most cases, it will go away all on its own. While it might look worse when your child is fussing or crying, it’s usually not an issue you need to worry about.

Small acne on baby face

While the cause of baby acne can depend on a few factors, there are a few main reasons that kids tend to get it:

  • Your child was born with a small amount of baby acne. While it might surprise some parents, kids are often born with a little bit of acne that is harmless. It will almost always clear up on its own, though there are things you can do to make it look better now and aid in the process.
  • Your child touches their face a lot. Just like with adults, touching your face regularly can result in impurities on the delicate skin. Kids who tend to rub their face a lot are more prone to acne.
  • Food on their hands is being moved to their face. Many foods that your child eats are not designed as facial masks, so letting them stay on your child’s skin for too long can cause pimples and acne. Most parents don’t notice tiny amounts of food or the remnants of food though. Get into the habit of cleaning around your child’s mouth and face very gently with plain water after eating.
  • Food or remnants of food are stuck in the creases around their mouth, which can lead to acne over time. More regular cleaning after eating can help clear up these issues.
  • Acne related to hormonal changes. While babies don’t go through a ton of hormonal changes – and won’t until they are teenagers – your child is growing on a regular basis as a toddler or baby. This can lead to skin irritation and disruptions like acne.

While acne can be concerning for parents, there are other irritants that could be causing your child’s skin irritation. There are also a variety of baby acne remedies that can help clear up your child’s skin.

Baby Acne, Rash or Something Else?

While baby acne on the chest is relatively common and is often due to saliva or food particles getting beneath a onesie or shirt, acne on the face can be a little harder for parents to understand. In some cases, parents will believe that it looks more like a rash or something that they’re entirely unsure of.

Here’s how you can tell what you’re dealing with and if your child actually has acne:

  • Acne looks like small red bumps, often grouped in clusters. Pimples can either break the surface of the skin or remain under the skin. Most babies will not like it when you touch areas of the skin with acne since it can be uncomfortable.
  • Milia. Baby miliaMilia is a common issue among babies, that looks like small white bumps. Often much smaller than acne, these typically are pain-free for children. They often appear in clusters as well but present without any sort of redness unless your child is touching the area frequently.
  • Rash. A rash on a baby is very similar to a rash that you might get from touching an allergen. Often splotchy without any raised bumps, redness is the most common sign of a rash. Usually, the redness will appear in one small area and nowhere else on the face. Rashes are often related to allergies or cleanliness issues.

4 Surprising Ways to Prevent

Baby acne can be alarming to parents, but it’s not something you should really worry about too much. While there are lots of over-the-counter remedies for things like baby acne on your child’s face, there are other options available to you as well. Here are a few surprising baby acne treatment options that just might work for you and your child. Many only involve a change in how you interact with your baby instead of adding a bunch of products to your routine.

Baby acne often goes away naturally around age two.
  1. Stop using the baby wipes that you’re using. For many babies, certain wipes can be irritating. Look for all-natural baby wipes made with materials like cotton. They’re less likely to irritate your child and lead to acne flare-ups.
    No baby wipes
  2. Avoid scrubbing when washing your baby’s face, even if you’re using very gentle wipes. Scrubbing can cause bacteria that causes acne to spread, actually making the problem worse. It can also make acne bumps more sensitive and painful for your child.
    No scrubbing
  3. Switch to only water and a very mild baby soap when washing your child’s face. Baby in waterReady to go wipes can be helpful for parents, but kids with very sensitive skin may not be able to tolerate them. Switch to washable cotton cloths to wipe your baby’s face when it’s time for a bath and after meals. Go easy on the soap.
  4. Shop for oil-free lotions for your child’s skin. Some children don’t tolerate moisturizers that contain any sort of oily ingredient. Don’t skip the moisturizer altogether though – that could leave your baby’s skin dried-out and uncomfortable, which might make acne feel even worse for them.

Find the Treatment that Works

For the most part, baby acne is best left alone since it’s pretty normal. In some cases though, your doctor may recommend that you do something to help your child’s skin. When this happens, you’ll want to look for all-natural remedies or doctor-approved options to help.

Parents should never use over-the-counter acne medications designed for adults on babies. They are too harsh for a young child’s skin in almost all cases. The only time you can use over-the-counter acne medication is when it is prescribed by your child’s pediatrician, which is not commonly done.

Here are some options for handling baby acne that can make a difference without putting your child at risk. In general, it’s always best to ask your child’s doctor if these remedies will be okay for your boy or girl before you begin using them even one time.

  • Aloe vera gel. While aloe vera gel may not remove acne entirely, it can cause a great reduction in redness and provide gentle moisture to your child’s skin. It may also reduce redness. Use it by dabbing just a touch of pure aloe vera gel from the plant leaf – or a formula over 99% if you’re using readymade aloe vera from a bottle – right onto the skin. You should use just enough that the skin feels damp when you’re done applying it. Follow the link if you want to find out more information about Aloe Vera for acne.
    Aloe Vera Soothing Gel
  • Coconut oil. For children with very dry skin, coconut oil can actually relieve some of the redness and irritation related to acne. If you do use coconut oil, test a very, very small amount on a bit of your child’s healthy skin first to make sure they tolerate it well. Then slowly use it on parts of the skin with acne. Read more here.
    Using cononut oil
  • Calendula cream. This needs to be recommended by your doctor, but a light formula of calendula cream can work wonders for baby acne. You’ll end up getting a low-level amount of cortisone, but that will help prevent any possible irritation. Always follow package and doctor instructions when using calendula cream for baby acne relief.
    Calendula cream by California Baby
  • Breast milk. Breast milk can be applied directly to the site of acne, and since your child is getting it already if you’re breastfeeding, it should cause no harm to their skin. Wipe off after 15 minutes.
    Breast milk

A lot of parents with young children want to know how long does baby acne last? That can be a very difficult question to answer, especially since every child is different. In general, most cases of baby acne don’t last more than a few months at a time. However, your child’s acne may come and go until they’re around two years of age depending on their level of sensitivity to allergens, foods and other things in their environment.

For the most part, baby acne is not something that you should be too worried about if you’re dealing with a few minor pimples. If they start to spread or become severe though, you should make an appointment with your child’s doctor. They may be able to help you find the cause of baby acne in your child so you can get a more prompt solution.

If your child is experiencing baby acne, the first step is to avoid panicking! A lot of parents do, but baby acne is normal. Take a deep breath and follow these simple steps to try and improve your baby’s skin, and remember, it’s going to go away naturally too.

You can find further details of Acne here.