Infantile acne

Infantile acne

Chris Schach

Author Bio -


Key Points
*Form of acne which affects infants and small children
*Exact cause is unknown, but may be genetic
*May consist of whiteheads, blackheads, inflammation and cysts

Infantile acne is a form of acne which can develop in children during infancy up to age six, though it is rare after three years of age. It often forms on the cheeks, and less frequently the forehead and/or chin, and has a presentation that is typical of mild to moderate acne; whiteheads and blackheads (comedones), nodules, papules which become enflamed, and cysts. Severe cases may lead to scarring of the affected areas. In children past three, the condition can present further symptoms, including virilisation (abnormal growth and body hair, sexual development, body odor) and hormone abnormalities which may cause a host of conditions, including Cushing's disease, tumors, early puberty and congenital disorders.

The exact cause of infantile Acne is unknown, but it is thought that genetics may play a role in its development. The condition is more common in males than females, and typically resolves itself in a few months.

Differential Diagnosis (Other conditions with similar appearance)
Rosacea (lacks Comedones)
Perioral Dermatitis
Acneiform Drug eruptions

Key Points
*Diagnosis based on skin appearance
*Blood and imaging tests may be performed on older children who are affected

Diagnosis of infantile acne is typically based on the appearance of the affected skin. No further testing is required. However, in older children and those with signs of virilisation, blood and imaging tests may be helpful in tracking and treating the condition.

*Majority of cases easily treated
*Antibiotics may be prescribed in severe cases
OTC Options: benzoyl peroxide

Most instances of infantile Acne resolve within a few months span, and aggressive treatment is not generally required. Application of benzoyl peroxide may be helpful in managing the Acne and any potential secondary infection. Health care professionals may also prescribe erythromycin gel to assist in this process. In more severe cases, orally administered erythromycin, trimethoprim, or Isotretinoin may be prescribed to treat the condition.