Baby acne is a common occurrence, but it can be a scary experience for new parents. The appearance of bright red bumps on a newborn's face is usually not a cause for concern. If your baby has acne, here is what you need to know. 

What Is Baby Acne?

Baby acne is a skin condition that can appear on your baby's face and body. In most instances, it is temporary and goes away without the need for medical treatment. 

Researchers are not sure what causes baby acne, but there is a belief that it is linked to hormonal changes. Genetics is also thought to play a role in the skin condition. Baby acne should not be seen as a sign of future skin problems. 

There are two types of baby acne. The first, known as neonatal acne, appears in the first three months following your baby's birth. Acne that appears after three months is commonly referred to as infantile acne. 

What Can You Do?

Although the acne might appear to be painful since it causes bright red and white bumps, it actually is not. Simply washing your baby's face on a daily basis with a gentle cleanser is usually enough to clear the skin. After washing the baby's face, pat the skin dry instead of rubbing it. 

It is important to avoid aggravating the condition though. Aggravation can lead to itchiness. The use of oils and lotions on your baby's acne will cause irritation, so avoid them. Both of these can also clog your baby's oil glands and lead to a further outbreak. 

Do not use any over-the-counter acne medications on your baby's skin. They can be too harsh for your baby's delicate skin and lead to even bigger issues. 

When Should You Call the Pediatrician?

In the event that the acne lingers on past the six-month mark, talk to your pediatrician. The pediatrician will determine if a prescription ointment or oral antibiotic acne treatment is necessary. He or she might even refer your baby to a dermatologist for further treatment. 

You should also call your pediatrician if the baby acne results in deep cysts in your baby's skin. The cysts could be a sign of an underlying medical condition. 

The most important thing to remember when dealing with baby acne is that patience is needed. In most cases, the baby's skin eventually clears up as time passes and without causing scarring.