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Baby Skin Conditions

by Marcie Cook Licensed Aesthetician -

Baby acne is just that, acne lesions that form on the baby's face sometimes in the second or third month of life, usually it lasts 4-6 weeks. This acne is a result of hormones that continue to circulate in the baby's bloodstream after birth, stimulating the sebaceous glands. It is believed that infants who experience really severe infantile acne may have more problems with acne in their teenage years. Baby acne may include red bumps, pustules or even blackheads. The red bumps associated with baby acne can sometimes be mistaken for an allergic reaction. Over heating is a flare factor that causes baby acne.

Birth Marks, also referred to as Giant Congenital Nevi, are nothing to be concerned about. These spots may be present at birth or may develop shortly in the first year of life. Giant Congenital Nevi are a subset of moles that are more prone to developing malignant melanoma. The closer to the midline, such as the spinal area and/or the more irregularly bordered or colored, the more concerning the lesion. However not all of these moles will turn into melanoma. Removal of the lesion is often suggested especially if it's not going to be cosmetically devastating defect, or if it's in a relatively easy area to remove. When children reach puberty the risk of melanoma increases, primarily due to the change of hormones.

Cradle cap, sometimes called seborrhea, is a thick, greasy scale on the baby's scalp which is the result of maternal hormones still circulating in the baby’s system. It usually presents itself at the third month of life and may last for a few weeks. Some infants have minor scales that easily rinse out with a baby shampoo, others needed to be treated more aggressively. In some cases the scales will rub off on clothing and furniture. If this is the case you can simply take some baby oil and rub it on the head before you shampoo. Seborrhea may also affect the face, primarily around the eyebrows and nose.

Harmless, light brown stains called café au lait spots are present in about 20% of people. They are not technically moles or freckles. Café au lait spots have an irregular border. These spots are not generally present at birth, but develop anywhere from the first few months to the first few years of life. While these spots are not unusual to have they can be an indication of internal disease when they are numerous and large. Café au lait spots respond to bleaching, although the pigment is usually located within the dermis, so bleaching is not recommended. Like moles or freckles the more sun exposure these spots get the darker they become.

Stork bites are the most common vascular formation seen in newborns, affecting anywhere from 30-40% of babies. These stork bites are the result of dilated blood vessels known as capillaries that are located within the dermis. These are found most commonly on the base of the scalp and the nape of the neck. Although they may also arise on the eyelids, and the area between the eyebrows, as well as on the nose and the depressed area between the nose and the upper lip. There is no treatment required for stork bites, but with a little time and patience these bites will go away on there own.

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