Does Your Baby Have Acne Or Eczema? Here's How To Tell The Two Apart

When babies are born, their skin has to adjust to the outside environment. For this reason, baby skin is prone to dryness, which often leads to irritation, says Medical News Today. If you notice any changes in your baby's skin, such as rashes, bumps, or discoloration, it may signify a skin condition or other health problem.

A variety of skin conditions can also occur in babies due to their delicate skin. Dermatitis, for example, includes a number of conditions that include cradle cap, diaper rash, and eczema (via Cleveland Clinic). Acne, which is commonly seen as a teenage problem, can also occur in babies but usually goes away on its own within a few months. If you're concerned about baby eczema or acne, it is always best to consult a healthcare provider for a proper diagnosis and treatment plan. Here's what to look for and when to call a doctor.

What does eczema in babies look like?

Eczema (atopic dermatitis) causes inflamed, red, and itchy skin. It's a common condition in children and babies, usually appearing within 3 months of birth, according to Stanford Medicine. Babies with eczema may have a red, scaly, or crusty rash that appears on their skin which may be accompanied by intense itching. Eczema can appear anywhere on the body, but it is most commonly found on the face, neck, hands, elbows, and knees.

The risk factors of eczema are genetic and environmental. Babies with eczema often have a family history of the condition, and they may also have other allergies or immune system disorders, says the National Eczema Association. Triggers for eczema can include stress, certain foods, temperature changes, and irritants such as certain soaps and detergents.

Treatment for eczema in babies typically involves eliminating triggers, applying corticosteroid creams, and changing bathing techniques to control the symptoms, says the American Academy of Dermatology Association. In severe cases, other medications may be needed. It is important to work with a healthcare provider to develop an effective treatment plan.

What does acne in babies look like?

Baby acne is a common skin condition that causes the appearance of pink or white bumps on a baby's skin, typically on the face and neck, and is caused by an inflammatory reaction to yeast (via Cleveland Clinic). Some scientists believe that overactive oil glands are the main cause, says Medical News Today.

It's most common in newborns but can also occur in older babies. It usually appears within 2 to 4 weeks of life and goes away on its own, per Mayo Clinic. Although it can resolve independently, Medical News Today advises against using hot water and oily skin care products. They also advise against scrubbing the affected areas. Also, remember that certain soaps, detergents, and other substances can irritate a baby's skin and cause skin conditions, according to Healthline. It is, therefore, important to use gentle products to avoid irritation, as advised by your doctor.