Can babies get acne?

Eliza Parker
Eliza Parker on behalf of MDLIVE
Yes, babies can get acne and about 1 in 5 newborns get what is called “baby acne”. Baby acne is generally more common in baby boys compared to baby girls and usually appears around 3-4 weeks of life, although some babies can have it right at birth! Most baby acne completely resolves by 4 to 6 months of age. When a baby cries, is fussy or is hot the blood supply to the face can increase causing the blemishes to appear worse. The most common cause of baby acne is likely due to the hormones passed through the placenta near the time of delivery from the mother to the baby. These hormones are important for the baby’s lungs to mature but can sometimes stimulate a baby’s oil glands leading to acne in the first month of life. Baby acne is not dangerous and should resolve with no intervention except gentle cleansing with a mild soap.
Dr. Michael Roizen, MD
Internal Medicine
If you see those pesky pimples and pustules erupting on your newborns’ cute little nose or chubby cheeks, don’t fret, they are not going through puberty yet. Infants get acne on their nose, cheeks and chin because hormones that they were exposed to during pregnancy wane. These pimples usually go away in a few weeks without treatment as their bodies adjust, so you might want to wait to schedule those headshots. True acne is rare in infants and can signal a hormonal condition.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.