Baby Acne & Cradle Cap

Sensitive Skin

Having a new baby is a wonderful experience for new mothers, but involves a few challenges when learning about medical conditions that affect infants. Many newborns develop problems with their sensitive skin such as rashes or bumps that might create mild discomfort that leads to fussiness. Mothers want to find ways to prevent skin conditions such as cradle cap or acne that looks terrible, while causing only minor distress for an infant. In many cases, a new mother is concerned that an unusual skin condition is a symptom of a terrible disease and brings a child to a physician immediately.

Flakey Skin

Cradle cap is actually a form of seborrhea dermatitis similar to dandruff that occurs to adults. In many cases, an infant is oblivious to having discolored skin flakes on their scalp or face while feeling no itchiness or pain. The yellow or brown skin flakes from cradle cap usually have a greasy consistency and occur in thick patches. Medical researchers are still trying to understand why many newborns develop cradle cap. They know it is not caused by poor hygiene, allergies or bacteria.

Overactive Glands

Alternatively, baby acne is caused by overactive sebaceous glands similar to what teenagers experience. Most neonatal acne appears on an infant’s face near the nose or across the cheeks. Occasionally, acne occurs on a newborn’s forehead or neck. This skin condition commonly happens to infants before they are two months old. Physicians believe it is caused by a mother’s hormones remaining in the baby’s body after the child is born. The acne is completely harmless in most cases, but mothers often want to find a way to make the condition heal faster so a baby looks gorgeous in photographs and at family gatherings.

Antifungal Shampoo

Most mothers wash their baby each day with gentle soaps that keep the skin clean. Washing an infant’s face and scalp with warm water is the best way to get rid of cradle cap or baby acne. If cradle cap continues or becomes worse, then a physician may recommend a prescription shampoo that contains antifungal ingredients. Of course, parents must use caution while using these shampoos to avoid irritating an infant’s eyes. Using an over-the-counter product designed for dandruff to wash a baby’s scalp is not recommended. A physician might also prescribe an ointment or gel for a baby’s acne.


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