image001As a new mother, it is normal to for you to keep checking your baby’s body to ensure that it is in perfect health. This practice is especially common with new mothers in the first few months of the baby’s life. Even though most babies on TV commercials and magazine ads have flawless skin, the truth is that most newborns suffer from skin conditions. The conditions look unhealthy, but they are basically normal. A common condition among newborns is baby acne that appears on the scalp. What causes acne/ pimple on baby’s head and how exactly can you deal with this problem?

What Is the Pimple on Baby’s Head?

About one fifth of all newborns develop baby acne. This is according top research done by the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. Baby acne is also referred to as acne neonatorum or neonatal acne. The condition occurs more often in baby boys than girls. The reason why baby acne appears is due to existence of maternal hormones from pregnancy at some stage in the first months of life. The acne can show on the baby’s neck, scalp, or face, which can last for about three to four months. However, baby acne can continue to appear even in the toddler stage of life. Of course there may be other reasons that are causing the condition, which will be explained later.

What Causes Pimple on Baby's Head and How They Look Like?

1. Maternal Hormones

Through the placenta, maternal hormones pass to the fetus during pregnancy. This process supports the development and growth of the baby. A small amount of maternal hormones remains in the body of the baby after birth. Since the sweat glands of the scalp and face of the baby are still immature, they may react with the maternal hormones that are still present in the baby’s body, which results to inflammation and blockage. This results in acne and pimples.

On a baby’s scalp, acne appears as red bumps that have a white center. The manifestation of acne in babies is comparable to that of an adult or a teenager. The bumps can look like whiteheads or pustules. The acne may also be scattered and small, all over the baby’s scalp. 

2. Seborrheic Dermatitis and Cradle Cap

In Seborrheic Dermatitis, babies may produce more oil (sebum) from the sebaceous glands in their skin, the common symptom of which is cradle cap. 

Have you noticed deep red bumps, crusty, yellow scales and flakes that look like dandruff on your baby’s head? This is what cradle caps looks like. Cradle cap is a flaky condition that is very common in babies. It mostly starts on the head. However, it can also start in the diaper area, and later spread upwards. Cradle cap can take more than six months to disappear. It is, therefore, important to constantly clean and apply baby oil to the body parts that are affected by this condition. Loosening dead skin and thoroughly cleaning with shampoo helps in preventing build up.

If you worry about the pimple on your baby’s head and it does not go away, you should take him to check to see if it is Seborrheic Dermatitis.

3. Yeast Infection

Yeast infection, also known as Candida infection, can spread anywhere on the baby’s body, in the nose, skin and even mouth.

Yeast can sometimes infect the crown and result in a small rash that is red in color. The rash hangs on, even when it is treated with different shampoos and lotions. To eradicate scalp pimples that are caused by yeast infection, a doctor can prescribe a topical, as well as an oral medication.

How to Deal with Pimple on Baby's Head

1. Follow Gentle Cleaning Procedure

By following basic home instructions, parents can minimize the occurrence of scalp acne in babies.

  • Simply wash and dry baby’s hair with a shampoo that is very mild.
  • Be careful not to scrub the scalp vigorously.
  • Some doctors also recommend the use of plain yogurt. Rubbing yogurt all over her head in the bath, and letting it sit for about 5 minutes then gently rubbing it off with a wash cloth helps to clear the rashes away.

2. Things to Avoid

Do not treat baby acne and adult or adolescent acne in the same way.

  • Don’t try to pinch, pop, or pick at the pimples.
  • Don’t use tropical solutions that are strong like salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide.
  • Don’t use astringents.
  • Do not apply oily lotions on your baby’s skin. Oily lotions can make the acne worse. If you result to using non oily creams as they have been reported to help reduce baby acne, be sure to monitor how they affect the skin of your baby. Stop using the cream if it worsens your baby’s complexion.

Then most important thing is to be calm and have patience. Baby acne does not bother the baby; try to let it not bother you as well.

How Long Will Pimple on Baby's Head Last?

Baby acne clears up in a few weeks time. However, it can also remain for a couple of months. Talk to your baby’s doctor if the acne does not clear up within three months. The doctor can prescribe a tropical medication that is very mild, if the acne is severe or long lasting. Watch a video to learn more about baby acne: