What is baby acne
Baby acne is popularly known as neonatal acne. This skin condition is clinically referred as erythema toxicorum neonatorum. It affects babies’ commonly, might occur from birth till 7 months of age and is absolutely harmless medically. It manifests as red lesions on the skin and usually breaks out on the face & trunk, other than the arms & the legs, though it may appear anywhere else.
Baby acne can be avoided or treated with regular cleansing. It is vital to sanitize the baby’s clothes / bedding / toys. It minimizes the possibility of accumulating oil / saliva / dead skin that may block the pores on the baby’s skin and aggravate the problem. It is important to clean new or current clothes of the baby to reduce the risks of a bacterial infection. Also, it is advisable to restrict consuming oily foods, if nursing the baby.
What home remedies could treat baby acne
It is distressing indeed to witness the baby’s discomfort and be a silent spectator. However, baby acne can be effectively treated with common home remedies without having to resort to the harsh chemicals in cleansing products or difficult to administer oral / topical drugs. Some home remedies are,
Coconut oil has diverse uses, including its medicinal utility for treating baby acne. This oil contains natural antimicrobial characteristics and heals the skin, other than nourishing it. This oil is absorbed by the skin rapidly and yields durable results. Most parents observe that coconut oil is a safe and effective solution for treating the baby’s skin lesions, including diaper rash. It is advised to clean the baby’s affected skin with a mild soap and pat the area dry, before applying a thin film of coconut oil, two times every day till the acne cures.
– Breast milk
Nursing a baby for at a 6 month period is recommended by the WHO. Research indicates that feeding the baby with breast milk during the initial months, prolifically aids in mental & physical development. Breast milk is a rich source of lauric acid that guards against bacteria and acne. It also has omega 3 fatty acids and glyco-nutrients that aid in exfoliation and ward off acne. Additionally, it augments the baby’s immunity. It is advised to apply some breast milk on the baby’s affected skin and letting it dry naturally. Caution should be exercised to wipe away any excess milk.
Cornstarch is a natural drying compound that absorbs the excess oil secreted by the baby’s skin. The excess oil facilitates binding of dead skin cells and dust particles thereby, aggravating the problem of baby acne. However, cornstarch sucks out the nutrients as well, along with the excess oil and thus, should be used sparingly. On account of such characteristics, cornstarch should be applied only on the problem area, not more than once every day. It is advised to make a paste of cornstarch with water for dabbing (not rubbing) on the baby’s cleaned skin.
A simple home remedy for resolving baby acne is the use of oatmeal. It hydrates and comforts the baby’s irritated skin. It is advised to grind and powder half a cup of oatmeal, for stirring in the baby’s bath water. Wash the baby and allow him/her to splash around for a little while, before patting dry. The additive needs not to be washed away and lose its moisturizing abilities. Exercise caution that this water does not get into the baby’s eyes as it might result in irritation. Also, care should be taken that the baby sits securely as oatmeal tends to make the water rather slippery.
Using vinegar to resolve baby acne may sound idiotic. However, vinegar has antibacterial characteristics and draws out the excess oil from the baby’s skin. Vinegar may sound very odd, though babysafetyconcerns.com claims it efficacy. It advises diluting 1 unit of white vinegar with 10 units of water for dabbing on the affected skin with a medical grade piece of cotton and washing it off after a minute. It may also be used to clean other items that come in contact with the baby. However, baby skin is sensitive and should be tested for any adverse reaction, prior to this procedure.