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Your baby can develop different skin conditions. Most of them are normal, treatable, and common. But how do you know which one your little one has? In this article, we discuss two of the most common ones — baby eczema vs. acne — and how to tell the difference.

By looking at the symptoms of these two conditions, their causes, treatments, and preventative measures, you can help keep your baby’s skin soft and silky.

Table Of Contents

Baby Eczema Vs. Acne

baby eczema vs. acne

Baby eczema bears a striking similarity to baby acne. It can sometimes be hard to tell them apart, but some differences can clue you in to which one your baby is experiencing. Let’s take a look at each one in more detail.

What Is Eczema?

Baby eczema is by far the most common rash for babies. The National Eczema Association states that 9.6 million Americans under 18 have some type of eczema. One-third of those people have moderate to severe symptoms.

Eczema is also known as atopic dermatitis — a chronic skin condition that takes the form of red, dry, and itchy rashes on the skin. Baby eczema typically develops in infants from around the age of six months.

Other symptoms of baby eczema include:

  • Appears mainly on the cheeks and scalp
  • Red and oozy bumps
  • Ranges from mild to severe
  • Usually a family history
  • Most scarring resolves over time

While there is no cure for baby eczema, there are a variety of treatments, such as our Stelatopia Emollient Cream, to ease your baby’s symptoms. We’ll discuss more of these treatment options a little later in this article.

What Is Baby Acne?

Baby (or neonatal) acne is a treatable condition that occurs in about 30% of newborns. Some little ones are born with it, while others develop it in their first few weeks of life.

Baby acne that occurs between two months to one year is called infantile acne. It may take longer to clear up and can include blackheads.

Symptoms of baby acne include:

  • Small red bumps or pimples
  • Located on the face or chest
  • Lasts a couple of days to weeks
  • Temporary
  • No scarring

Continue reading to learn about some of the causes and treatments you can try to better manage and cure baby eczema vs. acne.

Baby Eczema Causes And Treatments

Many skin conditions have similar treatments, but treatment for baby eczema vs. acne is a little different.

For example, the treatment of baby eczema is not as straightforward as the treatment of baby acne. Eczema has more triggers, like genetic, environmental, and dietary factors. This means you may need a multi-prong approach to treating this skin condition.

Let’s take a look at a few of these factors in more detail below:

Allergies And Dietary Considerations

Take into consideration any allergies your baby may have as well as their diet. Eczema can be triggered by common allergens, such as dairy. So, it’s worth figuring out any foods they are eating that could be aggravating their eczema.

Environmental Factors

Mom doing laundry with baby

Some environmental factors, like laundry detergents, can trigger eczema flare-ups, too. Look for detergents made to be extra gentle on sensitive skin.

The warmer summer months can also irritate eczema from sweat that forms in the folds of the skin. And if your baby has dry skin, it can be aggravated during colder months, too.

In the winter, you may need to:

  • Cover your baby’s skin when going outside
  • Remove layers when inside
  • Dress your baby in soft fabrics
  • Apply sunscreen (yes, even during cold weather!)
  • Moisturize their skin frequently
  • Stop them from scratching by using soft mittens

In more severe cases, take your little one to the dermatologist. The doctor may be able to prescribe a topical anti-inflammatory medication, like hydrocortisone, to help soothe your baby’s skin, reduce itchiness, and help their skin heal.

baby eczema vs. acne

Topical Treatments

Regularly using a moisturizing, fragrance-free lotion or cream, like our Soothing Moisturizing Body Lotion or Stelatopia Emollient Cream, can be a great way to reduce your little one’s eczema symptoms. Twice a day is ideal.

Our Stelatopia Intense Eczema Relief is perfect for times when your little one’s eczema flares up. Natural yet effective, this multi-action emollient helps relieve discomfort, itching, and irritation caused by eczema rashes and flare-ups while soothing and restoring skin’s moisture barrier.

Emollients and creams are both effective in creating a protective barrier on the skin to prevent moisture loss while nourishing and soothing. You can even use a gentle Baby Oil after bathing your little one to keep their skin moisturized and soft.

Keep in mind the best time to use a moisturizer is straight after your baby’s bath because it will help the skin barrier hold on to hydration.

Baby Acne Causes And Treatments

One of the most common causes of baby acne is a swing in mom’s hormones prior to giving birth. And, in many cases, infant acne will disappear as quickly as it arrived without the need for any treatment.

However, you’ll still need to keep the affected area clean by using a mild cleanser and gently patting the skin dry. It’s also important not to over-wash the skin as doing so can leave it more dehydrated and cause additional irritation.

When treating baby acne:

  • Never use an acne treatment or wash unless a doctor prescribes it
  • Avoid rubbing or scrubbing the affected areas
  • Use lukewarm instead of hot water
  • Avoid oily or greasy skincare products

When To Contact Your Pediatrician

It’s tempting to go to your pediatrician for any little mark you see on your baby, but that’s not necessary. However, if the bumps look unusual or if your little one seems uncomfortable, you should probably visit the doctor.

Because there’s a variety of childhood skin conditions, your child’s doctor is the best one to reassure you and let you know the right course of action to take.

Prevention Of Baby Eczema Vs. Acne

baby with eczema

Baby Eczema

There may be preventative measures you can take while pregnant or breastfeeding to avoid baby eczema. For example, some experts say baby eczema can be reduced if you are taking probiotics and eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, fish, and vitamin D.

Once they’re born, your baby’s clothing is a common factor in eczema flare-ups, despite how adorable the little outfits are. Make sure to dress your child in natural fabrics, such as cotton, to reduce irritation.

Our Stelatopia Skin Soothing Pajamas are ideal for keeping your little one’s skin comfortable. Using microcapsule technology, these 100% cotton pajamas deliver soothing moisture to the skin throughout the night.

It’s important to seek treatment as soon as you notice signs of baby eczema. Doing so can help stop it in its tracks and prevent it from becoming more difficult to treat later on.

This is also important because babies with eczema are more prone to skin infections, which can lead to additional problems down the road.

Baby Acne

According to pediatricians, there’s actually no definitive way to prevent baby acne. The best thing you can do is take care of your little one’s skin as you normally would.

Use products with natural skincare ingredients to protect your baby’s delicate skin from any skin condition. To help cleanse skin, lock in moisture, and safely treat and prevent baby eczema and acne, Mustela offers safe and effective products for every skin type.

Our No-Rinse Soothing Soothing Cleansing Water, for example, thoroughly and gently cleans your baby's face, body, and diaper area while also working to soothe very sensitive skin. It dissolves dirt and impurities without stripping your baby's skin of its natural oils.

Sunscreen For Baby Eczema Vs. Acne

No matter what skin condition your baby may be facing, it’s always a good idea to apply sunscreen. Mustela provides suncare products that are NEA (National Eczema Association) Certified, fragrance-free, and suitable for sensitive skin.

In addition, too much summer sun can cause your baby’s skin to react. And sunburn can irritate already dry, itchy, or eczema-prone skin. That’s why we recommend lathering up all year round to help prevent your little one’s skin from getting worse.

Note: Mineral sunscreen, like our line at Mustela, is safer for your baby because it uses two natural minerals — zinc oxide and titanium dioxide — as active ingredients. These minerals simply sit on top of your skin and protect it by reflecting the UV rays away.

Healthy Skin For Your Baby

baby eczema vs. acne

Recognizing the difference between baby eczema vs. acne will give you the knowledge to take care of your little one’s precious skin.

Our Stelatopia Emollient Cream is perfect for everyday maintenance and can also help soothe extremely dry to eczema-prone skin. And when your little one’s eczema flares up, try our Stelatopia Intense Eczema Relief.

Finally, care for your baby’s face with our Soothing Moisturizing Face Cream. This cream helps protect and relieve facial skin and can be used every day. Our fragrance-free formula is specifically designed for babies and children with very sensitive, rashy, or reactive skin.

By taking appropriate prevention and treatment measures for baby eczema and acne, you can help your baby get back to clear, soft skin, and you can have peace of mind knowing that they are happy and irritation-free!

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