Spot the difference

My beautiful baby girl is blemished quite literally. Her little cheeks, neck, ears and even her shoulders are plagued by spots. They started about ten days ago and have not subsided since. The NHS provides a good summary of the rashes babies can experience, and we did wonder if it was heat rash given it seemed to flair up when Elphie got hot. Alas no, instead it’s baby acne making my perfect baby-soft skinned baby more closely resemble a spotty rough-skinned teenager of the form found hanging out in malls.
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So what causes baby acne? As About.com explains it is likely to be my fault and a last hurrah for those pesky hormones: “Baby acne develops during the weeks after birth, most likely due to hormones that passed from mother to infant during the last stage of pregnancy. Baby acne can be aggravated by milk, formula, or spit-up coming in contact with the skin. Other irritants include rough fabrics or fabrics laundered in strong detergent. If your baby has acne, don’t use soap, lotion or creams on the face. These can irritate acne, too.”

Treatment? Baby acne will clear up on its own but if you want to do something then, as Womens Healthcare Topics explains, daily bathing of the skin in warm water and nothing else may help or “Sometimes when a baby presents with severe acne, you doctor may recommend you treat it with benzoyl peroxide, topical creams like retinoids or other keratolytic agents”.

Baby acne is a temporary phenomena though, generally expected to clear up by week 6. Unfortunately for us, it is week 7 and showing no sign of abating – however, this might be something we need to use her adjusted age based on her due date for, in which case it may be another 3 weeks before her baby-soft skin returns. This is disastrous as we need to get her passport photo done soon if we are to go away in September – I don’t want her very first passport photo to be marred by spots, they are unflattering enough as it is!

Picture credit: me-vs-acne.com

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