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Breastfed Baby Has Acne

Updated on December 2, 2016
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Whitney is a mom trying to evoke a healthy, happy life for herself and her family.

Baby acne can appear anywhere on the baby's face- cheeks, forehead and nose are most common. You'll see small white or red bumps or pimples that may be surrounded by reddened skin.

It can become more pronounced when your baby is hot or fussy or if his skin is irritated by spit-up, milk, formula, a soap or a detergent.

All blemishes on your baby's aren't necessarily acne. You may notice tinny white bumps within the first few weeks after your baby is born called milia. Or if the skin appears rashy or scaly, it may be cradle cap or eczema, especially if it's all over your baby's body.

Typically, baby acne clears on its own within a few days to a few weeks. Occasionally, it may last a few months, but if it lasts over three months, consult your pediatrician. Your baby may need a cream.

Baby Acne Causes

Like in teenagers, pimples on babies are generally caused by hormones. During the end of the third trimester, your hormones cross the placenta into your baby's. This stimulates the oil glads and increase the risk of pimples.

You'll typically see pimples when your baby is three to four weeks old, but sometimes babies are born with them.

If you're breastfeeding your baby, certain medications that you take can cause acne to your baby. If this is a possible cause for your baby's acne, talk with your doctor about an alternate medication.

Surprisingly enough, the food your eat as a breastfeeding mom isn't going to cause acne to your baby. That doesn't mean eat all the chocolate and drink all the soda you want because individually they both can have an affect on your baby. Chocolate can cause gassiness, and caffeine can cause irritation, crankiness and sleeplessness. But, if you eat chocolate or drink a few sodas, that doesn't mean that it's going to cause your baby to breakout.

Some babies will have a reaction to certain foods, but food sensitivities in breastfed babies are not nearly as common as many breastfeeding mothers have been led to think. If your baby has a food sensitivity, you may notice the following signs:

  • Fussy after feedings
  • Cry inconsolably for long periods
  • Sleep little and wake suddenly with obvious discomfort
  • Rash
  • Hives
  • Eczema
  • Sore bottom
  • Dry skin
  • Wheezing or asthma-like symptoms
  • Congestion or cold-like symptoms
  • Red, itchy eyes
  • Colic
  • Intestinal upset
  • Vomiting
  • Constipation and/or diarrhea
  • Green stool with mucus or blood

Did your breastfed baby have acne?

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Treat Baby Acne

The treatment is typically going to be to just leave it alone. If the acne persists after three months, your pediatrician may prescribe a cream to help dry up the pimples and instigate healing.

If your baby has acne, wash his face with a mild baby soap and warm water once a day and try not to let it bother you, especially if it doesn't bother your baby. Make sure to pat dry after washing.

Do not use over-the-counter acne medicines as they are too harsh for baby's skin, and don't use oily baby lotion. Oily lotion can make the acne worse. If you're not sure how the lotion will affect your baby's skin, test it out for a few days to see if it helps or worsens the acne. Be prepared to stop using it if the skin appears more irritated.

Use Breast Milk on Acne

Although, many people claim that a few drops of breast milk will heal and treat the pimples, there isn't scientific proof that it will, but with antimicrobial properties in the milk, it couldn't hurt to try.

Express a few drops of milk onto your fingers and gently rub it on your baby's face. Let the milk dry. The skin may appear dry and flaky afterwards. Continue repeating this process a few times a day for a few days or until the acne has gone away.

Make sure to gently wash off the dried milk during regular bath times.

Did you try applying breastmilk to your baby's acne? If so, did it work?

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Will It Scar?

Generally, no. Baby acne will not usually scar your baby's face. Babies are fast healers and for the most part, as long as you leave it alone, it will heal without scarring.


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