Does your newborn baby have pimple-like bumps that may be white or dark, big or small on the face?
Note that some babies are born with little or tiny bumps on face. Sometimes they can appear and go away almost all over sudden when mums least expect of mishap for their baby’s bright faces.
Bumps on your baby’s face may be completely harmless. While some causes are quite a threat to infant life through common.
What causes skin rashes in babies? A skin rash can be sudden or develop gradually. Below are some of the causes of baby rashes.
A. Baby heat rash
Heat rash or prickly rash is one of the most common skin rashes that affects more babies than adults. It looks like small pimples or dots that usually appear on the head, facial hairline, neck and shoulders.
On one hand, this rash develops when the sweat ducts become blocked. This is evident in children who are still developing these structures. On the other hand, irritation, warm or hot weather also can trigger heat rash.
It is characterized by itching and when irritated it may turn into red small swellings. Parents are advised to keep an eye on the behavior of such a rash especially when itching becomes unbearable or shows signs of an infection.
How long does heat rash last? It virtually depends upon your skin care or response (esp. adults who have heat rash). For instance, heat rash can go away faster if you apply remedies like aloe Vera or olive oil. Even though, most heat rashes go away naturally unless it becomes infected.
Remedies for heat rash
You need to find an appropriate symptom reliever for itching such as a cool environment. Avoid using lotions or creams which can ignite irritation and lead to increased itching.
Remedies and tips to avoid heat rash include
- Light clothing especially during the summer or hot weather
- Acclimatization i.e. exposing your baby to adapt to hotter temperatures in a less aggressive way
- Ensuring the sleeping areas such as the cots are kept in a cool environ
Measles is a-feared-for illness caused by a measles virus. It is contagious and leads to a very distinct skin rash.
In newborns and babies, this illness is experienced during the winter and spring. The symptoms will start to appear nearly two weeks after exposure to the virus – either through direct contact, air cough or sneezing.
The first sign is normally marked by presence of red spots inside of cheeks. Other symptoms include
- A deep red rash that begins as a small lesions on face (usually 2 days after the red spots inside cheeks)
- Redness in eyes and irritated eyes
- Coughing with “hacking sound”
Unfortunately, measles virus cannot be cured. Parents are discouraged to give medicine for fever or coughing as signs of measles. Instead a clinical observation followed by prescription medicines to reduce severity of symptoms is optimal course for infected babies.
C. Rash due to chickenpox– itchy rash on face
This is another infection caused by varicella-zoster virus. It is also a deadly disease in infants and children. Before the rash begins, infected babies experience irritability and fatigue for at least 1 – 2 days.
The rash is normally starts on trunk, face, armpits and legs usually itchy. Other symptoms may include
- Fever or illness
- Cough/runny nose
- Joint pain
- Babies losing appetite
Individuals who have this disease in one time develop immunity later in their lifetime.
As mentioned earlier, chickenpox may lead to death. Complications of chickenpox include secondary infections, pneumonia. The brain is sometimes affected seriously.
D. Toxic erythema of the newborn or Erythema toxicum
Firstly, dermatologists don’t know the exact cause of the rash. Its occurrence is theorized and linked to some infants being more sensitive leading to an activation of the immune system. Secondly, it sis thought that some babies who are overly sensitive to detergents or clothing get the rash.
Erythema toxicum is characterized by blotchy “red spots on the skin with overlying white or yellow papules or pustules.” [en.wikipedoa.org]. It is also presented as small papular lesions with a reddened base. Typically, the lesions would come and go shortly or after minutes.
The rash may spread all over the body but has no long-term body effects, so it does not cause any serious suffering in newborns. At times Erythema toxicum requires a diagnosis but not does not necessitate treatment. Generally, it should clear in not more that 2 – 3 weeks after eruptions.
Way forward for measles and chickenpox
Prevention of measles is the best way and most effective remedy. Parents are encouraged to stand up and take responsibility by ensuring that their newborns receive vaccines through immunization.
There are specific treatments for measles and chickenpox. However, some may potentially cause other serious side effects.
CAUTION: Avoid aspirin for anyone who is underage.
Newborn acne or infantile acne
What causes baby acne on face? Unlike acne in adolescents and young adults, acne in newborns is attributed to mother’s hormones which are still in their blood system. What makes your baby more vulnerable to acne pimples is the fact that their pores are still developing.
Common areas for these pimples are forehead, around eyelids and the cheeks. Sometimes the zits can pop up around the neck and upper chest. Newborn ace does not lead to scarring after it has even resolved.
According to The Australasian College of Dermatology, infantile acne is marked by the development of comedones with red papules and pustules. The cheeks, forehead, and chin are areas affected more.
Unlike newborn acne, infantile acne is thought to be a result of overactivity of oil glands triggered by testosterone hormone. The hormone does not cause any abnormalities in infants. Babies from month-old to 2-year-old children are affected.
NOTE: Infantile acne occasionally develop into nodular or cystic hence leading to scarring especially when it persists into early childhood.
Small white bump – milia
Going on with causes, we have milia which are the tiny white bumps. Milia is very common in newborns’ face. They usually appear across the nose including the nose bridge to around nose crease.
Some people think they are “white pimples” but they are not pimples in essence. Milia is hereditary in nature since many it almost occurs with the birth of newborns.
Infant milia require no treatment. Identifying it is quite easy as it causes no other symptoms or changes in appearance. However, due to problems with predisposition ask your clinical doctor to help you out in identifying it.
Though, harmless, milia is not preventable in either infants or adults.
When should you consult your doctor?
In addition to the above reasons, consult your doctor if you do not understand or suspect any of these factors.
- Mite bites, bed bug bites or insect bites
- Bumpy rash or sudden facial rashes
- Irritant contact dermatitis
- German measles
Diagnosis in babies or newborns
It is important to bring your child to get diagnosed to help know more about the facial problems they have after birth. Tests may be included during the procedures include fluid tests, microscopic examination of scrapping and blood tests.
Less commonly does it involve differential diagnosis even though when serious maternal health concerns (including herpes simplex virus infection, sepsis, varicella or chickenpox are raised, your baby will need prompt medical intervention.
What causes red bumps on baby’s face? Small itchy ones can be caused by baby heat rash but keep in mind that adults do suffer from heat rash.
Red pimple-like lesions could be signs of infant acne and cradle cap. Redness is sometimes characteristic of acne. Other causes include the less bumpy skin rashes like Erythema toxicum.
A few of the cases may require treatment. First, finding out the facial problems of your baby can make it easier to get the right treatment.
Please consult your doctor if you have little information about the causes and symptoms of facial problems specific to your baby. Misappropriation of medication or without proper consultation can worsen baby rashes.
Baby acne treatment
How are acne bumps on a baby’s face treated? Most young babies with infantile acne are treated with topical baby acne cream. Doctors may use oral antibiotics, gels, and retinoid creams if the symptoms go into severe forms. [Your dermatologist will determine if the treatment is right according to your baby’s age.]
It is highly anticipated that baby acne in newborns should clear by the time she has reached 6 months. Otherwise, you should seek treatment for baby acne if he or she develops any facial abnormalities.
What you should avoid even with ongoing treatment for acne.
- Do not pick or poke or squeeze the bumps
- Never apply any chemical soaps or wash your baby with flavored solutions
- Avoid adult acne products for the purposes of treatment
Otherwise, use the recommended acne remedies for babies such as breast milk, or just pat with chemical-free or purified water.
IMPORTANT: Take your son to a medic if you notice any signs of the bumps being inflamed or areas of facial redness or your baby attempting to scratch.
Face rashes remedies for baby or newborns
Sometimes you will need to treat your baby of face rashes though as seen earlier, most rashes clear and disappear on their own. Let us look at sample treatment remedies and prevention of rashes in babies.
Home care for viral rashes – exanthema
These remedies will aid calming the notorious symptoms due to rashes resulting from the viral infections such as measles or chickenpox.
- Provide infants with adequate fluids to recover water lost due to fever. These include water, naturally made fruit juice, etc.
- Breastfeeding mothers should continue for infants under 1 year old.
- If your infants become irritable do not force on solid diets. Ask your child care or heath provider to give acetaminophen for fever, fussiness or discomfort.
- Ensure your child has adequate rest with a little playtime.
Citations and Reference
- Baby Acne Healthline
- Hidradenitis suppurativa: familydoctor.org