5 Things Every Parent Should Know About Baby Acne

It's not just for teenagers.

You bring that precious little bundle of joy home from the hospital and stare into her big, innocent baby eyes…

But wait.

What is that on her chin and her forehead?

All those Anne Geddes and Gerber baby images are tossed right out the window, because your little sweetie has got some baby acne.

If you thought breakouts only happened to teenagers (and pregnant ladies), you thought wrong. Thanks to all those fun hormones you had to deal with while your babe was in utero have now carried on to them outside of the womb which has caused some rough looking skin.

Baby acne can show up at birth, or can make itself known a few weeks after your babe arrives. It will look just as it does on teenagers: little red bumps and pimples that may have whiteheads. While acne is typically seen on the face, it can also develop on the back or neck.

The great (and not so great) thing about baby acne is that the best treatment is just to wait it out. It shouldn’t bother your baby, but if it does make you a bit uneasy to look at, you can try these tips to lessen the breakout.

Never use adult product on an infant. There is a reason they’ve created body care and laundry brands made just for babies. Their skin is so new and sensitive from being in a moisturizing bubble for 9 months that it isn’t ready for all the additives that are in adult products. Using any of these items could worsen the breakout or cause other irritable problems with their skin.

The powers of breastmilk. This is the advice I got over and over again when my little one was battling some irritated skin in the first few weeks of her life. Dab some breastmilk on the affected skin 2-3 times a day. Seriously, this stuff is liquid gold.

Keep your baby clean and dry. We all know that yucky stuff likes to grow in dirty and moist places. Hello, flashback to college dorm showers. While it’s definitely not necessary to give your baby a full blown bath every single day, it is a very wise decision to give them the once (or twice) over with a warm wash cloth or hearty baby wipe. Especially if you’ve got a spit-up heavy baby with some extra chubby baby neck rolls.

Prevent additional irritation. While your fussy little newborn might irritate her skin on her own from crying, scratching or the liquid that dribbles out of their mouths, there are some ways to prevent additional irritation. You can drop by your favorite baby store and pick up some cotton mittens to cover up those talons, and baby Aquaphor to slather on those rough patches.

Wait it out. Like I mentioned earlier, the very best treatment for baby acne is to just wait it out without any additional product or possible irritants. It should clear up within a few days up to a few weeks and your little cutie will be back on the Gerber baby route.

While baby acne is super common, it can be scary when you don’t know what happened to your clear skinned baby overnight, so it’s always a great idea to give your Pediatrician a call, just to be safe. There are several other skin ailments that can seem like baby acne but could be something totally different. Some little ones may develop eczema, an allergic reaction, milia or just plain old dry skin.

As is everything with kids, this is a phase that they will quickly grow out of and you’ll be on to the next worry or better yet, the next fun and exciting milestone. You’ll look back fondly on those days you were only concerned about a few little bumps on their perfect little nose!


  1. Healthline: Baby Acne: Causes, Treatments and More
  2. Mayo Clinic: Baby Acne
  3. Parenting.com: Ask Dr. Sears: Baby Breakouts
  4. WebMD: Newborn Rashes & Skin Conditions
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