How to Manage the Problem

Whatever the cause, infant acne is not a serious problem and requires no medical treatment or intervention. Parents are however advised to protect the skin and keep it free from exposure to potential skin irritants, such as perfumed products. Bathing the infant once a day in a mild baby soap is recommended, and the skin is to be dried thoroughly by patting the dry after bathing. Skin care products such as oils and powders are best avoided at this stage.

Switching washing detergents can help also. The rash may be exacerbated by certain elements of detergents so choosing a brand that is kind to the infant’s skin is strongly recommended. Always opt for a non-biological brand as this is preferable for use with infants and young children to avoid skin irritation.

For the short time that the acne may pose a problem, it is advisable to keep the infant’s skin uncovered where areas may be affected in order to avoid the irritation. Fortunately the acne tends to predominantly affect the face; therefore, clothing is not an issue. In these cases, keeping the face exposed to the air without coverage by hats and bonnets is a suggested action to avoid direct irritation to the skin, in particular the forehead.

Avoiding contact of formula or breast-milk to the skin is a good idea, as when left on the skin’s surface the pores can become clogged making the acne appear worse. Occasionally infants vomit or allow milk to splash onto the skin, and this can be aided by keeping a muslin or cloth nearby to wipe away any spills or splashes. Anything which may be deemed as an irritant is best avoided especially if the cause of the acne is not known.

It is never advisable to use acne treatment on the skin of an infant. These preparations are likely to be abrasive on the delicate skin of the infant and therefore must be avoided at all costs.


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