Understanding and Managing Milk Acne in Newborns



Welcoming a newborn into your life is a joyful experience, but it can also come with concerns, especially when you notice small red bumps on your baby’s face. These blemishes are often referred to as “milk acne” or “infantile acne.” While they may be concerning for new parents, it’s crucial not to be overly subjective about this common skin condition. In this article, we’ll explore milk acne, what causes it, and how to manage it.

What Is Milk Acne?

Milk acne, also known as neonatal acne, is a common skin condition that affects many newborns. It typically appears within the first few weeks after birth and is characterized by small red or white bumps on the baby’s face, particularly on the cheeks, nose, and forehead. While it may resemble acne, milk acne is different and not associated with hormonal changes.

Causes of Milk Acne:

The exact cause of milk acne is not well understood, but it is believed to be related to various factors, including:

  1. Maternal Hormones: During pregnancy, a mother’s hormones can influence the baby’s skin while still in the womb, potentially leading to milk acne after birth.
  2. Excessive Oil Production: Newborns have delicate and sensitive skin, and their oil glands may be more active, leading to clogged pores and acne-like eruptions.
  3. Bacterial Presence: The presence of certain bacteria on the skin may contribute to the development of milk acne.

How to Manage Milk Acne:

  1. Gentle Cleansing: Wash your baby’s face daily with lukewarm water and a mild, fragrance-free baby soap. Avoid scrubbing or using harsh chemicals.
  2. Avoid Overwashing: Overwashing can strip the skin of its natural oils, potentially exacerbating the condition. Stick to gentle cleansing once a day.
  3. Pat Dry: After washing, pat your baby’s face dry with a soft, clean cloth. Avoid rubbing, which can irritate the skin.
  4. Avoid Ointments and Creams: Refrain from using adult acne treatments, creams, or ointments on your baby’s face without consulting a pediatrician.
  5. Breast Milk: Some parents have reported improvement by gently applying a few drops of breast milk to the affected areas. However, consult your pediatrician before trying this method.
  6. Time and Patience: Most cases of milk acne resolve on their own within a few weeks to months without any treatment. Be patient and allow your baby’s skin to adjust.
  7. Consult a Pediatrician: If you’re concerned about your baby’s skin condition, or if it worsens or spreads, it’s essential to consult your pediatrician for a proper evaluation and guidance.


Milk acne is a common and usually harmless skin condition in newborns. It may cause concern for parents, but it’s essential to remember that it typically resolves on its own with time. Avoid overwashing, use gentle cleansing techniques, and consult your pediatrician if you have concerns about your baby’s skin. Remember, your baby’s health and comfort are of utmost importance, and proper care will help them grow into happy and healthy individuals.

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