Caring for Baby’s Sensitive Skin

The skin of babies produces less melanin than an adult’s; that’s why extra precautions are necessary to care for their skin.

Babies have delicate skin and many of them develop problems with their skin. A myriad of causes such as contact with clothes, creams, lotions, urine and allergens can cause all kinds of problems such as  nappy rash, baby acne, heat rash and baby eczema.

NAPPY RASH

Also known as diaper rash, nappy rash can be attributed to a combination of too much moisture, too little air, and irritants, ranging from  urine and faeces to wipes, bath products and laundry soaps. No medical treatment is necessary if the condition is not serious. The best way to prevent nappy  rash is to keep the baby’s bottom dry and clean. After washing your baby’s bottom, let it have a few minutes of fresh air, then apply a barrier ointment. If possible, skip the wipes as they may contain irritants; instead just wash the area with plain water. Also, don’t stinge on disposable diapers and change cotton diapers as often as necessary.

INFANT ECZEMA

Infant eczema are  pimple-like rashes filled with liquid, which will burst. They usually occur on the baby’s forehead and cheeks but can spread to the arms and legs. Possible triggers of  infant eczema include saliva, sweat, heat, fabrics, cigarette smoke and soaps. You need to identify the case of the irritant but general steps to keep eczema at bay are to keep the baby sweat-free, use detergents formulated for sensitive skin, and apply a gentle moisturizer. Your pediatrician may prescribe creams to soothe the rash and prevent it from spreading.

HEAT RASH

Also known as prickly heat, this condition is characterized by little red bumps on the face, chest, stomach and buttocks. The cause is the sweat glands getting clogged, trapping perspiration beneath. Though heat rash isn’t painful, it causes itching, making babies want to scratch the affected areas. Though, an antihistamine can also help subdue the itching, check with your doctor first before giving any medication to your baby. Cooling down is of prime importance, so don’t overdress the baby and avoid hot places. Applying calamine lotion can help to relieve the itching and discomfort.

BABY ACNE

Acne not only affects teenagers but also babies from two weeks to six months of age. It is caused by maternal hormones which have been transmitted to the baby from the mother through the placenta. OTC products for baby acne are available. However, seek medical advice if the condition persists.

In conclusion, here are some tips on how to care for your baby’s sensitive skin

  • For washing, plain soap and water is good enough. Also, be aware that excessive bathing can dry out your baby’s skin.
  • When shopping for soaps, baby shampoos and lotions, look for natural ingredients that you recognize.
  • Prefer simple rather than complicated products. For instance, if a shampoo contains 20 ingredients, it would be better to choose something else.
  • Avoid products containing fragrances as they usually contain allergens.
  • Avoid using antibacterial soap as it contains extra chemicals which might not be necessary.
  • Keep the baby’s bedding clean free and from mites.

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