If your newborn or infant breaks out with a case of acne, don't panic! It's quite normal. Usually the acne will clear up all by itself and there's rarely a need to use any medications or call your doctor.
Babies, especially newborns, often get acne bumps that are caused by natural skin oil becoming trapped in hair follicles. While mostly found on the cheeks, it's not uncommon for babies to have acne on their forehead or chin as well.
Just continue to bathe your baby as normal using a clean and soft washcloth and your normal baby soap as long as it is hypoallergenic. Otherwise, switch brands to something that is.
If the condition appears to worsen, or it doesn't clear up within a few weeks, then ask your doctor for advice.
Adolescent and Teen Acne Issues
While the occasional blemish can break out at any age, persistent acne usually begins about the same time your child enters puberty.
Forget the old wifes tales about eating too much chocolate or oily foods. Acne in adolescents and teenagers results from a natural increase in body oil which becomes trapped in pores. And it's not about failure to wash the face enough either. In fact, washing too much can actually irritate the skin, clog the pores, and cause more acne.
Child Acne Prevention and Treatment
While prevention may not be possible, you can reduce the appearance of your child's acne by encouraging him or her to gently wash twice a day using warm water, a soft facecloth and a mild hypoallergenic soap.
If your daughter wears makeup, help her to choose cosmetics which are labeled 'noncomedogenic' since they are specially formulated not to promote acne. Also encourage her to never go to bed without removing her makeup. Tell your child that 'popping' just makes things worse.
Most acne responds well to over-the-counter products containing benzol peroxide. This ingredient is available in a number of different lotions and cremes from several manufacturers. Save yourself some money by comparing store brands with national brands. If the ingredients are the same and they are present in the same levels, go for the cheaper one.
The percentage of available benzol peroxide varies among brands. Choose a product with the highest concentration possible, but always test a dab on an inconspicuous portion of your child's body to see if there is any reaction.
If you do not see a marked improvement within 4-6 weeks after treatment begins, take your child to their regular doctor for an exam and treatment advice. There is no need to head straight to a dermatologist unless your child's regular doctor suggests it.
There is no convenient time for an acne breakout in children. Be available to provide the emotional support that your child will need to help him or her through the social stigma that comes with acne. It's a lot bigger deal to them than it is to us.