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Newborn baby with bumps on the face?
This 2 month old boy presents with an acne-like eruption on the face composed of red papules and pustules. No medications. The child is otherwise normal and healthy.   What is your diagnosis? 

Benign Cephlad Pustulosis (neonatal acne)
Benign Cephlad Pustulosis (neonatal acne)

Neonatal Acne
Also known as benign cephalad pustulosis. This is an acneiform eruption that commonly occurs in infants that is often due to maternal androgens creating an acne like picture in infants. It is seen most commonly in boys. It probably occurs in 5 to 10% of infants to some degree. It can present shortly after birth and last several months. Generally, it will resolve on its own in one to six months without treatment. There are a few severe, recalcitrant cases that will require (additional) medicinal intervention. These cases tend to have a strong family history of acne and may be a harbinger for moderate to severe acne later in life.

If the condition is significant, as seen in a certain subset of patients, topical Cleocin lotion twice daily for one to three months works very effectively. The most important part of the treatment is to reassure parents that with time the majority of cases will resolve on their own.


Additional Article on Neonatal Acne from DermText.com

Charles E. Crutchfield III, MD
Clinical Adjunct Associate Professor of Dermatology
At the
University of Minnesota Medical School
Medical Director, Crutchfield Dermatology


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