Neonatal Acne vs Neonatal Cephalic Pustulosis
A variant of neonatal acne is neonatal cephalic pustulosis. This involves a pustular eruption on the face and scalp of newborn babies and usually happens around the third week after birth. Unlike neonatal acne, this variant has no comedones, a.k.a. blackheads or whiteheads.
Neonatal cephalic pustulosis was previously mistakenly identified as neonatal acne. Instead, neonatal cephalic pustulosis represents an inflammatory and infectious reaction against a colonization by yeast that are normally found on the skin. The most prominent of these yeasts are those of the genus Malassezia. A 1998 study identified M sympodialis as possibly having a role in the severe form of common neonatal cephalic pustulosis.
How To Treat Neonatal Acne
While neonatal acne presents inflammatory papules and sometimes pustules, it tends to resolve itself by four months of age. It rarely requires treatment, although topical creams are effective when needed. In contrast with infantile acne, neonatal acne does not result in scarring.
While regular acne can be triggered by hormonal changes, diet, stress, health conditions, and certain medications, this condition does not involve hair follicles being clogged by oil and dead skin cells. It affects 20% of infants younger than six weeks and is due mainly to a high rate of sebum excretion.
If you see signs of acne on your newborn, there’s nothing to be worried about. This is a common condition for babies in their early weeks, and it will go away on its own after a few weeks. Parents don’t need to worry about treatment either, as regular children’s skin care should be sufficient. If the rash doesn’t go away or if the acne forms blackheads or pus-filled bumps, make sure to consult your pediatrician.
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