What is Neonatal Acne?

Neonatal acne is a condition in newborn babies that leads to development of acne (“pimples”) resembling the acne experienced by teenagers.  The exact cause of neonatal acne is unknown.  It may be the result of the passage of maternal hormones (androgens) across the placenta during pregnancy.  When infants are born, these hormones persist for a short time, stimulating the glands in the face to produce oil.

How common is Neonatal Acne?  Who is at risk?

It occurs in up to 20% of newborns and may be present at birth or develop during the first few months of life.  It is more common in males.  Overall, it is relatively mild, and regresses spontaneously in most infants by age 6 months.  No treatment is necessary.  It is not associated with significant scarring or an increased incidence of acne in later life.