Neonatal and Infantile Acne
Neonatal acne is a common condition and is defined as tiny red bumps or pimples that develop on a baby’s face or body.
It can occur in both boys and girls (more often in boys) within the first days or weeks of life and may be congenital in up to 20% of newborns. Neonatal acne is believed to be related to either stimulation of sebaceous glands by maternal androgens or transient adrenal and gonadal androgen production. Usually, neonatal acne regresses over several months, only occasionally persisting until 9–12 months of age. Neonatal acne may occasionally develop into infantile acne.
Infantile acne usually occurs between 3 and 6 months of life and tends to be more severe and more persistent. The causes of neonatal and infantile acne are not clear. A family history of acne may or may not exist. Infantile acne may occasionally be associated with hormonal changes, namely hyperandrogenism (androgen excess).
The acne’s clinical presentation is similar to that of acne vulgaris to the face. Open and closed comedones are most common, while occasionally, inflammatory papules and pustules occur. Infants may also develop deep papules, cysts and nodules with the potential for scarring, even without comedonal lesions.
In mild cases of neonatal or infantile acne, therapy is generally unnecessary. Daily cleansing with a gentle soap and water may be all that is required. Exogenous oil such as baby oils and lotions may aggravate the condition and should be avoided. When therapy is necessary, it is similar to that of acne treatments at any other age, although the use of systemic agents is generally reserved for those with severe cases.