Is this normal?
First-time moms might ask themselves this question a lot during the first few months of their child’s life. If only Motherhood comes with a handbook, we shall know what’s normal and what’s not. But even if there is such a handbook, it can never be an accurate basis. Why? Because babies are different from each other. Their genetics, growth, appearance and reaction are very distinctive. The complicated subject of Biology made this possible.
Three weeks after giving birth, I noticed a pimple on my son’s left cheek. I initially thought it was just a rash that will soon go away, but it’s not. After few days, his skin became oily, I remember mine. Kidding aside, I genuinely thought the oil comes from my face since I kiss him a lot, and put my face beside his most of the time. But again, it’s not. Turned out, it is baby acne. Oh my baby boy, the pimples shows off more and more each day, and I began to worry.
According to the site which I follow, BabyCenter, “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 laundry detergent.”
Source: BabyCenter, Baby Acne http://www.babycenter.com/0_baby-acne_72.bc
1.) Baby acne looks similar to teenage acne. Yes it does. I thought that babies skin is always soft and flawless. Honestly, I never heard of baby acne before, so I was quite surprised.
2.) Acne usually appears on the cheeks and sometimes on the forehead, the chin, and even the back. My son had it all over his face and even in his neck, chest and shoulders.
3.) 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 laundry detergent.
My son’s pediatrician said that breastfeeding might contribute to the acne. The warmth of my body while he’s feeding might be the cause. Spit-up milk was eyed as a culprit as well. The doctor recommended me to wipe clean his neck, and the areas around the mouth every after breastfeeding, which I usually do. She also told me to avoid clothes with prints or logos, and those t-shirt with collars. So I do what I was told, I made him wear all-white cotton onesies. I eliminated the fact that laundry detergent may be one of the causes, since we rarely use too much of it on my son’s clothes, even since birth, to avoid any skin irritation.
After reading various blogs, Thank you Google, I found out that baby acne is normal for newborn babies. It is more common for boys actually. There is no identified cause yet but experts say that it probably is the effect of mother’s hormones, which has been passed to the baby through the placenta on the last weeks of pregnancy. Because of these hormones, the baby’s skin release too much oil during their early weeks, which led to the acne.
We did not try to apply any topical cream or ointment since our paediatrician did not recommend any. She just suggested us to try more gentle baby bath products such as Lactacyd and Cetaphil. We tried to use the two but there was no improvement after weeks. She then recommended Aveeno baby bath (oatmeal solution) during our next wellness check-up. It is very hard to find this product in the Philippines. After searching through the premiere malls, I was told it can be bought in S&R. Aside from its scent, I think it helped soothe my son’s skin. On the other hand, Aveeno is well-known here in Singapore. You can usually buy it in any mall’s baby section.
Even though I’ve read in some breastfeeding forums that breastmilk might help, (by washing your baby’s face with it), I did not try it at all. Breastmilk is sweet and it may attract ants which may cause more problem.
There were times when he seems to be scratching his face. Maybe the pimples are itchy, or painful, no one can specifically tell. If the baby is bothered, the mother, most likely, is bothered more.
Since doctors are sure that baby acne just clears without any skin medication, I just decided to wait and not intervene further. We just did our usual routine. One bath every morning using Aveeno. Wiping the areas around his neck and around his soft lips where milk is spilled. At night, I just wipe his face and body with clean cotton cloth before putting him on his pajamas.
My son’s acne lasted for a month and one week. There’s always a rainbow after the rain, as the song goes.
He had clear, bright and flawless skin afterwards.
So if you’re gonna ask yourself, Is Baby Acne normal?
YES, IT IS.
P.S. When in doubt, pay a visit to your doctor. Refrain from self-medication. You can do research but medical specialists know best. Relax Mommy, everything will be fine. And always say your prayers to the one up there! He answers! ❤️