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It’s possible. Acne usually begins in one’s teen’s, but some babies have acne. Here’s what parents should know.
About 20% of newborns have a type of acne called neonatal acne. You’ll usually see it at about 2 weeks of age; however, it can develop any time before 6 weeks of age. Sometimes, a baby is born with acne.
If your newborn has acne, you’ll usually see breakouts on your baby’s cheeks and nose. Acne can also appear on a baby’s forehead, chin, scalp, neck, back, or chest.
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.
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 your baby develops acne after 6 weeks of age, you’ll want to see a board-certified dermatologist or pediatric dermatologist. This can be helpful for several reasons. You can:
While a dermatologist should examine a child who develops acne after 6 weeks of age, this type of acne often clears on its own. Clearing usually takes about 6 months to 1 year. Some children, however, have acne for a longer time. It’s possible for acne to continue through the teen years.
Never apply acne wash or any acne treatment to your baby's skin unless a dermatologist recommends it.
If your baby has acne, dermatologists recommend that you:
Seeing acne on your baby’s skin can be worrisome. A dermatologist can tell you whether you need to treat it. When acne requires treatment, you can rely on a dermatologist’s expertise to treat your baby safely.
Image of baby being bathed, Getty Images
Eichenfield LF, Krakowski AC, et al. “Evidence-based recommendations for the diagnosis and treatment of pediatric acne.” Pediatrics. 2013;131 Suppl 3:S163-86.
Serna-Tamayo C, Janniger CK, et al. “Neonatal and infantile acne vulgaris: An update.” Cutis 2014;94(1):13-15.
Zaenglein AL and Thiboutot DM. “Acne vulgaris.” In: Bolognia JL, et al. Dermatology. (second edition). Mosby Elsevier, Spain, 2008:500.