My older two children never had baby acne. They were both born with a few white pimples on their nose, but those cleared up quickly and were hardly noticeable. Baby Scarlett was born with flawless skin, but in week 4 began to break out in baby acne. It was a few red pimples on her forehead at first, but then it spread down her face and within a few weeks her entire face and chest were covered. I spoke to my doctor and researched online for home remedies for baby acne. Here are the remedies I tried and finally what actually worked for Scarlett.
- Wash with warm water once or twice a day – I bathe my babies every day so I just skipped the soap for a while. After doing this for 5 days the acne just continued to spread, so I moved onto the next remedy.
- Breastmilk – My hope with the breastmilk was that it would sooth the skin. At this point, Scarlett’s skin was getting inflamed and starting to look painful. Although I can’t say for sure if it was soothing or not, the breastmilk didn’t reduce redness so after a few days I decided to try something else.
- Head and Shoulders (or other dandruff) shampoo – My sister suggested I try washing my baby’s hair with a dandruff shampoo during bath time. According to my online research, this treatment had helped a lot of children with baby acne. So I washed Scarlett’s hair with Head and Shoulders shampoo for over a week along with doing the following…
- Mustela® Bebe PhysiObebe No Rinse Clenser – My “google research” suggested using this cleansing treatment on baby acne. Let me just say, this smells amazing! And I like it for a quick spruce up if there isn’t time for a bath after a blow-out or spit up. But, while washing her hair with the Head and Shoulders and face with Mustela Bebe PhysiObebe, Scarlett’s acne continued to get worse!
- Hydrocortisone 1% mixed with Neosporin – My doctor had originally told me to just try some home remedies, but after calling him again concerned about the inflammation, he suggested mixing Hydrocortisone cream with Neosporin and applying to the face twice a day. *NOTE – Never use hydrocortisone cream on an infant’s face unless directed by a doctor! Also, extended use of Hydrocortisone cream is NOT recommended.
*By this point I was very discouraged. Scarlett was over four weeks into baby acne and it was continuing to get worse! I was upset not just because my sweet baby looked like a pimpley adolescent, but also because the acne looked so inflamed and painful. I finally took my baby to the doctor (mostly because I thought she had an ear infection, but I also wanted to discuss the acne). The minute my doctor saw baby Scarlett, he said, “Oh no! This poor baby doesn’t have an ear infection. She has a staph infection from the baby acne and is in pain.” What I thought was a draining ear infection was actually oozing blisters. I felt so bad that I waited so long to take Scarlett in. At this point, the doctor prescribed the final treatment (and the only one that worked for us).
- Mupirocin Ointment (antibiotic cream) – My doctor had me mix this with hydrocortisone cream and apply to the affected areas a few times a day. Within a day it began clearing up and by day three, her acne was gone!! It was amazing and I’m so glad that I finally took her to the doctor.
So, don’t let your baby’s acne go untreated if you see it continually getting worse. Take her into the doctor! It could be more than just a few baby pimples.
Photo Timeline of Scarlett’s Baby Acne
Week 1 of Baby Acne:
Week 4 of Baby Acne:
Week 5 (Close up of staph infection):
Day 1 of perscription antibiotic treatment:
Day 3 of perscription antibiotic treatment:
Photo by: CristinAllen Photography