Overview

Baby acne is a condition that causes small bumps on a newborn's skin — often on the face and neck. Baby acne is common and temporary. There's little you can do to prevent it, and it often clears up on its own without scarring.

Other names for this condition are infantile acne and neonatal acne.

Baby acne on different skin colors.

Baby acne

Illustration of baby acne on different skin colors. Baby acne often shows up 2 to 4 weeks after birth and clears up without treatment.


Symptoms

Baby acne is small, inflamed bumps on a baby's face, neck, back or chest. It often develops within 2 to 4 weeks of birth.

Many babies also develop tiny, pimple-like bumps on the face. These harmless spots are called milia. They disappear on their own within a few weeks.

Another condition that might be mistaken for baby acne is benign cephalic pustulosis (BCP), also called neonatal cephalic pustulosis. A bad reaction to yeast on the skin causes BCP.

None of these conditions is caused by the type of bacterium that causes acne in teens and adults.


When to see a doctor

Talk with a member of your baby's healthcare team if you have concerns about your baby's skin.


Causes

Baby acne is caused by hormones that the baby is exposed to before birth.


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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