Newborn acne


Newborn acne - also called acne neonatorum, acne infantilis or baby acne - is a special form of acne that occurs mainly in newborns in the first few weeks of life (often around the third week of life), but sometimes even in the womb can begin so that the affected children are born with newborn acne.
About 20% of all newborns are affected, with significantly more male than female babies being affected.

Classically, newborns develop one painless, non-itchy acne - especially in the area of Cheeks, seldom also on forehead, chin or on Body trunk. The acne can flammable run, but usually heals without any complications and without scars after at the latest 3-6 months so that it does not have to be treated separately.
The newborn acne must be of the so-called Infant acne A distinction must be made between them, which only appear between the ages of 3 and 6 months of age, are often more severe and last longer and, if the disease is more severe, often must be treated with antibiotics and anti-inflammatory drugs to prevent scarred healing.


The cause of the development of newborn acne can on the one hand in the Hormonal balance of the newborn during the fetal period (9th to 38th week of pregnancy - organ growth and the maturation of sex) lie in pregnancy, but also in the Hormonal load through the motherwho transfer their hormones to the newborn via the placenta (mother cake) or after birth via breast milk.
The causal hormones are so-called Steroid hormonesthat become a Obstruction of the sebum glands with a resulting Secretion build-up in the sebum glands and lead to the classic picture of acne (easily inflamed nodules or purulent vesicles).
Various diseases of the unborn or newborn can lead to an excess of steroid hormones, including the Adrenal hyperplasia (Enlargement of the adrenal cortex) or the so-called androgenital syndrome, in which an enzyme defect leads to an overproduction of androgens in the adrenal cortex.

Temporal occurrence of newborn acne

If the offspring is affected by newborn acne, this occurs in most cases in the first weeks of life on, often starting around the third week of life.
In some cases, however, it can already be carried out intrauterine, i.e. in the womb, so that the newborn is already born with newborn acne and does not only develop after birth.

How long newborn acne lasts in infants depends, among other things, on the cause and on the speed with which the newborn gets used to the increased steroid hormone load or it adjusts to a normal level.
Acne forms on average from the 3rd month of life back without consequences, so there is usually one scarless healing. No later than 6 months of age however, it should be completely regressed.
If acne-like skin symptoms appear first around the 3rd to 6th moons of lifet on, should be more in the so-called Infant acne to be thought of that many times heavier runs and possibly even with Antibiotics and anti-inflammatory drugs must be treated to avoid a scarring course.

Duration of newborn acne

Newborn acne usually occurs in the first few weeks of life. Newborn acne then usually heals within three months without scarring.
In rare cases there are longer courses over six months.

Read more on the topic: Duration of a newborn acne

Breast milk as a cause of newborn acne

The hormonal load of the offspring with steroid hormones is not only increased during pregnancy in the womb, but also after birth. Will the newborn with Breast milk breastfed, it also comes to after pregnancy Transfer of steroid hormones from mother to newborn, so that these steroid hormones can lead to constipation and accumulation of secretion in the sebum glands.
It is important, however, that this should not lead to the reverse conclusion that breastfeeding can make newborns sick in this regard - this is of course not the case!


Newborn acne often occurs on the head, but can also appear all over the body.

Symptoms of newborn acne on the head

The most common localization of newborn acne is the head area, with usually the most pronounced Cheeks are affected.
But also at the forehead and on chin the small pimples and pustules can be noticeable and noticeable.
The reason for this is that in the area of ​​the head or face the Density of the sebum and sweat glands is very high which in turn can become constipated as part of the hormonal load during pregnancy and breastfeeding.
Particularly in the face area, care can be taken that, for example, the Mouth area good during and after breastfeeding cleaned and drooling patted dry to avoid additional irritation.

Symptoms of newborn acne on the body

Usually the newborn acne makes itself felt preferably around the face noticeable, less often in other parts of the body or even all over the body.
However, if this is the case and the blackheads, pimples and pustules spread over large areas of the body, it should be Pediatrician as this can in rare cases also indicate other skin diseases (such as neurodermatitis).

Symptoms of newborn acne on the abdomen

Belly belongs not the typical infestation pattern neonatal acne and other forms of acne.

The localization on the abdomen is for other diseases more typical in childhood. These include e.g. the Dellar warts (Molluscum contagiosum), the Three-day fever or ringworm.

Symptoms of newborn acne on the neck

The neck belongs not the typical infestation pattern a newborn acne. Of course it is in the context of newborn acne in the face also a Spreading over the neck possible.

The Papulopustulus acne at Teenagers with inflammatory papules and pustules, on the other hand, is typical for the infestation outside the face. The neck, trunk and upper arms can be affected here.

Symptoms of newborn acne on the chest

Newborn acne mainly affects areas in which many sebum glands occurrence. This includes above all that face and the chest. A can then be affected V-shaped area which starts at the neck and runs over the breastbone. At the same time, a V-shaped neckline on the back is usually also affected.

Symptoms of newborn acne on the eyelid

The face is the most common place on which a newborn acne manifests itself. The infestation is usually particularly impressive on the cheeks, around the nose and at the Temporal region.

In some cases you can single pustules as an unspecific accompanying reaction to the eyelid put. However, since there are typically no sebum glands here, the eyelids are spared in most cases. Are the Purulent rims of the eyes changed, must most likely still to one Conjunctivitis be thought.

Read more about the topic here: Conjunctivitis in the baby.

How do you tell the difference between newborn acne and heat rash?

Like newborn acne, heat rash in babies is a harmless skin condition. Especially in hot weather, high humidity or clothes that are too warm, these pimples typically appear on heavily stressed skin areas.
While newborn acne occurs on the face and head in the first few weeks of life, heat rashes appear on the neck, under the arms, in folds of the skin or in the diaper area. They can appear for a lifetime.

The reason for the heat rash is that the pores of the skin are still very small and can therefore clog faster than those of adults.

Find out here what can you do about heat rash?

How can you tell the difference between newborn acne and allergy?

First and foremost, if you have an allergy, it is always important to observe when the rash appears, what the overall condition of the child is and what changes could lead to an allergic reaction.
Has a new detergent or care product been used? Before touching the child, did you touch something that still left marks on the hands?

Allergic reactions on the skin are often indicated by very itchy skin symptoms. These can spread over the whole body. Newborn acne occurs primarily in the areas where there are most of the sebum glands - that is, on the face.

Read more on the subject here House rash in the baby.


Because newborn acne usually occurs within the first 3-6 months of life by itself heals without consequences, therapy is actually not necessary.
To aid healing, care should be taken that no baby creams, oils or lotions are used, but only the affected skin areas of the newborn cleaned with mild soaps and afterwards without excessive irritation kept dry become.
The fragrances often contained in conventional baby creams can sometimes be skin-irritating and allergic.
In addition, attention should be paid to the fact that the little ones the possibly itchy skin areas don't scratch, since in the worst case this can lead to inflammations and infections, which make it difficult for the newborn acne to heal quickly and without consequences.
That too Express the little pimples on the part of the parents should strictly avoided, as this can also lead to inflammation or infection.
Furthermore, you can dab the affected areas with Chamomile solutions or breast milk may be tried.

Newborn acne creams

A thorough cleaning of the affected areas is highly recommended. Any manipulation of the pustules and comedones should be avoided in order not to create a portal for infections.

  • In the Newborn acne is generally no further therapy with creams necessary. There is no itching or scarring. The newborn acne heals Consequently on its own from.
  • In contrast to this is the Infant acne (Acne infantum), which occurs around the first year of life. As this later form of acne in children can leave scars for prevention creams used. These contain so-called keratolytics (horn removers) such as benzoyl peroxide or azelaic acid. Sometimes an antibiotic additive is necessary in the cream. Here comes mostly Erythromycin or clindamycin are used. Creams in this form are only necessary in very severe cases for newborn acne, which, however, occur very rarely. To prevent newborn acne from worsening, care can be taken to keep the affected areas nice and dry. So it is also not advisable to use the affected areas Moisturizers subject to constant stimulus.

Homeopathy for newborn acne

Dabbing the affected areas of the skin with Breast milk belongs among other things to the alternative remedies - the effect lies in the anti-inflammatory and antibacterial ingredients breast milk, which can help heal newborn acne.
Other homeopathic remedies that can be used are the Schüssler salts Kalium bromatum and Calcium carbonicum or ointments Marigold base such as pure, virgin olive oil.

What is the connection with neurodermatitis?

In some cases, newborn acne is difficult from neurodermatitis - one Atopic dermatitis- to distinguish. A direct connection between the two skin diseases has not yet been found.
It is noticeable, however, that if a child has sensitive skin at such an early age, it is also more likely to develop other skin diseases in the course of development.

Newborn acne occurs primarily on the head and face and is not itchy. Atopic dermatitis can begin from the age of 3 months with cradle cap on the head and a rash affecting the whole body. The itching is so severe that the children often scratch themselves with blood.

Find out more about the topic here: Atopic dermatitis in babies.