What Is The Difference Between Baby Acne And Eczema?

Eczema, being a chronic skin disease, mimics various other skin conditions in babies. One of them is baby acne, which is simple acne in babies. This usually appears and fades out within six weeks of birth. Eczema, on the other hand, can appear at any age (most commonly within 5 years of age).

The issue here is that it is difficult to tell the difference between baby acne and eczema. Both conditions cause a red rash and look similar in appearance. 

This may cause trouble because each condition should be approached with the right treatment and both these need different treatments. Inappropriate medication may cause complications and even flare-ups.

If you are facing redness, flakes, or bumps on your skin, you must be able to differentiate both. So, what you have to do is to read this article to clarify both conditions and get the right treatment for your disease. Without taking much of your busy time, let’s get started.

Difference between baby acne and eczema

Baby acne vs eczema is a frequently discussed topic, but it is still difficult for many parents to differentiate between them. It makes sense because both conditions have commonalities despite the need for separate treatments.

To make the difference between them clear like crystal, read the information below.

  1. How it looks

Although both look similar, appearance is an easy factor in distinguishing baby acne and eczema. Baby acne causes a red rash and pimples. The pimples may contain pus and form whiteheads. However, eczema causes a raised red rash. The bumps in eczema are smaller and flat than acne pimples.

Also, there is a high chance of scars in eczema. Baby acne rarely leaves scars. Eczema often causes patches, while acne just causes pimples. So, by looking carefully at the appearance of skin rash, you can diagnose a particular condition.

  1. Itching factor

If the previous way looks difficult or insufficient, this one will be really helpful. Eczema itches badly. It also irritates and distresses a person which is enough for a bad sleep. Various ointments and creams are used to reduce itch; otherwise, eczema can ruin your baby’s sleep.

On the other hand, baby acne doesn’t itch. It doesn’t cause distress. You don’t need special treatment to ensure good sleep for your baby. All you have to do is to deal with those white-headed pimples. 

  1. Severity of symptoms 

As I told you earlier, itching is a common symptom of eczema that doesn’t occur in baby acne. This makes the condition worse. Let me explain. Itching increases the urge to scratch. 

Scratching damages the sensitive area of the skin, making it vulnerable to various complications, including bacterial infection.

However, your baby is free of this issue because baby acne is not so harmful. It is a temporary skin condition that often goes away on its own. Without treatment but following precautionary measures, it goes away. However, eczema is chronic, and its symptoms can last forever.

  1. Treatment and healing

Despite sharing similar looks, an individual needs different ways to treat symptoms of a particular disease. Eczema is severe and needs more powerful treatment. 

An individual needs something that can heal a raised rash, reduce itching, and reduce inflammation. Also, the healing stage lasts up to a few weeks to months. 

On the contrary, baby acne doesn’t need treatment in its mild form. Antifungal creams with some preventive measures are enough to reduce flare-ups. It usually fades out within a few weeks.

  1. Precautionary measures

The best way to approach eczema and baby acne is to always avoid those irritants and factors that contribute to their flare-ups. 

  • Avoid fragrance and harsh chemicals. Don’t use regular soaps and shampoo. Use medicated products if necessary.
  • Keep your baby away from excessive heat as much as you can. Use sunscreen from reputable brands when you take your baby outside.
  • Use cool and light clothing. Avoid using tight and harsh clothes because they can damage raised rash. Cotton is the best option.
  • Keep the bath time short and avoid overbathing. Avoid hot and cold water. Use lukewarm water. Give your baby 2 baths a week. 
  • Avoid all the triggers that cause flare-ups, like stress, dry skin, pollens, and dust.
  • Stop your baby from scratching. This can worsen the condition.


It should now be easy to tell the difference between baby acne and eczema. By looking at their appearance, itching factors, and severity, you can easily determine whether it is eczema or baby acne. 

Read those precautionary measures that are applicable to both conditions and take the right treatment. I hope this guide helped you clear up any confusion.

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