Newborn acne

Our one month old freqently gets what looks like pimples. These are predominantly on her face, but sometimes show up on her chest or arms. They don't seem to bother her and don't appear to be an allergy. What are these from?


Robert Steele

Robert W. Steele, MD, is a board certified pediatrician at St. John's Regional Health Center in Springfield, MO. He graduated from medical... Read more

The pimples you describe are characteristic of what is commonly referred to as newborn acne.

These bumps are thought to be caused by the immaturity and subsequent clogging of the sebaceous (oil secreting) glands in the pores. These transiently get clogged and then go away. They do not cause any permanent problems for infant and usually go away by the third or fourth month of life.

The presence of these pimples are not a reflection on your washing technique of your baby's face. They are quite common and would appear regardless of how diligent you were with the washcloth. You do not need to do anything special for these bumps other than the usual washing of the face with mild soap and water. They will go away as your baby's skin matures.

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