Baby acne looks similar to teenage acne. You'll see white or red bumps or pimples, which may be surrounded by reddish skin.
Acne usually appears on the cheeks and sometimes on the forehead, the chin, and even the back. It can become more pronounced when your baby is hot or fussy, or if his skin is irritated by saliva, spit-up milk, or fabric that's a little rough or has been washed in strong detergent. Blemishes on your new baby's face aren't necessarily acne, however. Tiny white bumps that are there at birth and disappear within a few weeks are called milia, and they're not related to acne. If the irritation looks more rashy or scaly than pimply, or it appears elsewhere on your baby's body, he/she may have another condition, such as cradle cap or eczema.
What could be causing my baby's acne?
If a mom takes certain medications while nursing, or if your baby takes certain medications, they might trigger baby acne. And in some cases, a baby is reacting to a skincare product, particularly an oily one that can block pores.
How long does it last?
Baby acne usually clears up within a few weeks, but it can linger for months. If it doesn't clear up within three months, or you're concerned about it, talk to your baby's doctor.
What can you do about your baby's complexion in the meantime? Here are some dos and don'ts:
If your baby's scalp has flaky, dry skin that looks like dandruff, or thick, oily, yellowish or brown scaling or crusting patches, it's probably cradle cap. Doctors call it infantile seborrheic dermatitis, and it's very common.
You might notice the same condition around your baby's ears or eyebrows, on his eyelids, or even in his armpits and other creases.
What causes cradle cap?
The cause is unknown. But it is known that cradle cap is not caused by poor hygiene or allergies.
Some experts believe that the hormones a baby receives from his mother at the end of pregnancy overstimulate the baby's oil-producing (seborrheic) glands, resulting in cradle cap. Irritation from a yeast that grows in the sebum (the substance produced by the glands) is also thought to be a possible culprit.
Cradle cap isn't contagious. And it probably doesn't bother your baby at all, although if it gets severe it might itch.
How should I treat my baby's flaky scalp?
Gently massage your baby's scalp with your fingers or a soft brush to loosen the scales.
Shampoo with ResQ Organics Baby Shampoo. After shampooing, gently brush your baby's scalp with a soft brush or a terrycloth towel.
Apply a small amount of ResQ Organics Baby Skin Treatment or ResQ Organics Bye Bye Eczema.
What does diaper rash look like?
If your child's diaper area looks irritated and red, chances are its diaper rash. The skin may also be a little puffy and warm when you touch it. Diaper rash can be mild – a few prickly red spots in a small area – or extensive, with tender red bumps that spread to your child's tummy and thighs.
Diaper rash doesn't mark you as a negligent parent. Dealing with diaper rash is part and parcel of childcare, especially in the first year or so of your child's life.
How did my child get diaper rash?
Diaper rash can be caused by anything from a new food to your child's own urine. Here are the most likely causes:
Wetness. Even the most absorbent diaper leaves some moisture on your child's skin. And when your child's urine mixes with bacteria from his stool, it breaks down and forms ammonia, which can be very harsh. That's why children with frequent bowel movements or diarrhea are more prone to diaper rash.
Although a child left in a dirty diaper for too long is more likely to develop diaper rash, any child with sensitive skin can get a rash, even if his parents are diligent diaper changers.
Chafing or chemical sensitivity. Your child's diaper rash may be the result of his diaper rubbing against his skin, especially if he's particularly sensitive to chemicals like the fragrances in a disposable diaper or the detergents used to wash a cloth diaper. It could also be that a lotion or powder you're using at diaper time doesn't agree with your child's skin.
New foods. It's common for children to get diaper rash when they start eating solid foods or are introduced to a new food. Any new food changes the composition of the stool. (The acids in certain foods, such as strawberries and fruit juices, can be especially troublesome for some kids.) A new food might increase the frequency of your child's bowel movements as well. If you're breastfeeding, your child's skin could even be reacting to something you're eating.
Infection. The diaper area is warm and moist — just the way bacteria and yeast like it. So it's easy for a bacterial or yeast infection to flourish there and cause a rash, especially in the cracks and folds of your child's skin. (Thrush is a type of oral yeast infection. Some children with thrush develop a yeast infection in their diaper area, too.)
Antibiotics. Children on antibiotics (or whose breastfeeding mothers are on antibiotics) sometimes get yeast infections because these drugs reduce the number of healthy bacteria that help keep yeast in check as well as the harmful bacteria they're meant to destroy. Antibiotics can also cause diarrhea, which can contribute to diaper rash.
Should I take my child to the doctor for a diaper rash?
Do call the doctor if the rash looks as though it may be infected. (Signs of infection include blisters, pus-filled pimples, oozing yellow patches, or open sores.)
Also, call the doctor if your child develops a fever or her rash doesn't go away after several days of home treatment.
What's the best way to treat diaper rash?
Take these steps to heal your child's skin when you see a diaper rash:
How can I prevent diaper rash?
Here are some good preventive measures:
What is eczema?
Eczema (also called atopic dermatitis) is a skin rash that usually appears before age 5. In babies, it tends to show up on the cheeks and scalp, but it may spread to the arms, legs, chest, or other parts of the body. After a child's first year, it's most likely to show up on the insides of the elbows, the backs of the knees, the wrists, and the ankles, but it can also appear elsewhere.
The rash might look like dry, thickened, scaly skin, or it might be made up of tiny red bumps that ooze or become infected if scratched. Scratching can also cause thickened, darkened, or scarred skin over time.
Eczema typically comes and goes. It isn't contagious, but because it's intensely itchy, it can be very uncomfortable, and scratching can be a problem. If untreated, the rash can be unsightly, so it may present a social challenge for a child, too.
Your doctor can diagnose eczema by examining your child's skin.
What causes eczema?
Eczema is not an allergic reaction to a substance, but allergens or irritants in the environment (such as pollen or cigarette smoke) can trigger it. Less frequently, it can be triggered by allergens in your child's diet – or in your diet if your child is breastfeeding.
The rash can also be aggravated by heat, irritants that come in contact with the skin (like wool or the chemicals in some soaps, fragrances, lotions, and detergents), changes in temperature, and dry skin. Stress can also trigger a flare-up of eczema.
How common is eczema?
About 20 percent of babies and young children have eczema. It usually starts in infancy, with 65 percent of patients developing symptoms in the first year of life and 90 percent developing symptoms before age 5.
There's no way to know ahead of time whether a child will outgrow eczema, but fortunately, the condition usually becomes less severe with age. Many children outgrow eczema by age 2, and many others outgrow it by adulthood.
What can I do about my child's eczema?
Taking good care of your child's skin and avoiding triggers can help treat and prevent flare-ups.
Bathing and moisturizing
Talk with the doctor about how often to bathe your child. Many experts now believe that daily bathing can be helpful for children with eczema. Just don't make the water too warm, because very warm water dries out the skin faster than lukewarm water.
Use ResQ Organics Baby Face and Body Wash and ResQ Organics Baby Shampoo at bath time. As soon as you get your child out of the tub, pat (don't rub) excess water from his skin with a soft towel or washcloth.
Then, while the skin is still damp, promptly apply a liberal amount of ResQ Organics Baby Skin Treatment or ResQ Organics Bye Bye Eczema to your child's skin.
Allow skin to breathe and stay cool
Dress your child in smooth natural fabrics, like cotton. Avoid wool and other scratchy materials, which can irritate very sensitive skin. Don't overheat your child by bundling him up more than necessary.
Soaps and cleansers
Use mild, fragrance-free detergent for washing clothes and bedding. Don't use fabric softeners.
Try to prevent scratching
Scratching and rubbing can further irritate or inflame the skin and make matters much worse.
One of the key ingredients in ResQ Organics Baby Products contains is a botanical from New Zealand called Cehami. It is a powerful natural analgesic that stops pain and itch on contact.
What is a heat rash?
Heat rash (Prickly Heat) is a red or pink rash usually found on body areas covered by clothing. It can develop when the sweat ducts become blocked and swell and often leads to discomfort and itching. Heat rash is most common in babies, but it may affect adults in hot, humid climates.