Newborn acne is generally nothing to worry about. While acne usually begins in one’s teens, some babies have acne. Sometimes, they are even born with it. Here’s what parents should know.

About 20% of newborns have a type of acne called neonatal acne. Neonatal acne is generally nothing to worry about. It rarely causes a scar and tends to go away on its own in a few weeks to months. You’ll usually see it appear at about 2 weeks of age. However, it can develop any time before 6 weeks of age

If your newborn has acne, you’ll usually see breakouts on the cheeks and nose. Acne can also appear on a baby’s forehead, chin, scalp, neck, back, or chest.

Acne is more worrisome after 6 weeks of age

When acne develops after 6 weeks of age, it’s called infantile acne. This type of acne is likely to begin between 3 and 6 months of age. If this is the case, you’ll want to see a board-certified dermatologist or pediatric dermatologist like those here at RI Skin Doc. You can rely on a dermatologist’s expertise to treat your baby safely.

We can confirm that it is acne.

It’s less common for acne to begin in a baby after 6 weeks of age, so you want to make sure your child really has acne. Other skin conditions, like an infection or eczema, can look like acne.

We can rule out if anything is going on inside your child’s body.

When acne begins after 6 weeks of age, it can be a sign of a health problem. A skin exam and sometimes a blood test or x-ray is needed to rule this out.

We can determine if a skin care product is causing the acne.

Some babies get acne from an ointment or oil that’s found in products used on their skin.

We can prevent permanent acne scars.

While newborn acne rarely causes a scar, infantile acne can cause permanent acne scars. A dermatologist can help prevent scarring.

Baby skin care
If your baby has acne, we recommend that you:

1) Never put acne medicine or acne wash on your baby’s skin, unless your child’s dermatologist or pediatrician recommends it.

2) Be very gentle with your baby’s skin, and avoid scrubbing the acne.

3) Wash your baby’s skin with lukewarm (not hot) water.

4) Stop using any oily or greasy skin care products.