Baby acne can usually be diagnosed on sight. No testing is needed.


Baby acne often clears up on its own within several weeks to months. If the acne appears to have cysts or scars or is not slowly improving, your baby may need a prescription medicine.

Check with your baby's healthcare team before trying any acne medicines you can get without a prescription.

Self care

These tips are useful for caring for your baby's skin while your baby has acne:

  • Clean your baby's face each day. Wash your baby's face daily with warm water. Alternate between using plain water one day and water with a mild, moisturizing facial soap the next.
  • Dry your baby's face gently. Pat your baby's skin dry.
  • Don't pinch or scrub the acne. Be gentle, to avoid more irritation or an infection.
  • Avoid using lotions, ointments or oils. Such products can make baby acne worse.

Preparing for your appointment

If you're following a standard well-baby exam schedule, your baby will likely have an appointment soon. These regular appointments allow you to discuss concerns about your baby's health. For baby acne, some basic questions to ask at the appointment include:

  • Is my baby's condition likely temporary or long lasting?
  • What treatments are available?
  • What advice do you have for my baby's skin care?
  • Will this acne scar my baby's face?

What to expect from your doctor

To find out how serious your baby's acne is, be prepared to answer these questions:

  • Do you have a family history of bad acne?
  • Has your baby been in contact with any medicines that can cause acne, such as corticosteroids or iodine-containing medicine?

Nov 10, 2023

  1. AskMayoExpert. Infantile acne. Mayo Clinic; 2022.
  2. AskMayoExpert. Milia (child). Mayo Clinic; 2022.
  3. Schmitt BD. Newborn rashes and birthmarks. In: Pediatric Telephone Protocols: Office Version. 17th ed. American Academy of Pediatrics; 2021.
  4. Eichenfield LF. Evidence-based recommendations for the diagnosis and treatment of pediatric acne. Pediatrics. 2013; doi:org/10.1542/peds.2013-0490B.
  5. Davis DMR (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic. June 8, 2023.


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