Baby's Skin Care

By: Juliet Cohen


A newborn's skin is soft and delicate. Proper skin care and bathing can help maintain the health and texture of the baby's skin. It is important to understand that to take care of Baby’s skin the most natural way is often best. Newborn baby may have some skin conditions that seem unusual to you. Most are fairly common such as Baby acne is a red, pimply rash on the face. Generally, it disappears over time. Cutis marmorata is a condition where the skin looks like pinkish-blue marble when exposed to cold temperatures. Erythema toxicum is a common, splotchy red rash that can affect newborns. Some have firm yellow or white bumps surrounded by a flare of red. The rash tends to come and go on different parts of the body. Vernix is a greasy white substance that coats and protects baby's skin in the mother's uterus. Some babies are born with lots of vernix still on their skin.

Milia are tiny whiteheads on your baby’s face. It is harmless and can be washed or wiped off. Crusty patches on scalp. Overactive glands in your baby's scalp can cause cradle cap. If so, use a mild soap containing olive, coconut, or palm oil and possibly herbal extracts such as calendula. Contrary to popular thought, most babies may only need to be bathed two or three times a week or every other day. Baths can be given any time of day. Bathing before a feeding often works well. Sponge baths are required at first. Bathing in a tub of water should wait until the baby's umbilical cord falls off, and a baby boy's circumcision heals, to prevent infection. Contact dermatitis can develop after your baby’s skin comes into contact with something irritating or that she’s allergic to. Keep your child’s skin moist. After bathing, apply moisturizer within three minutes to retain the moisture in the skin. Avoid sudden temperature changes.

Avoid using soap if possible and do not scrub skin with washcloth. If soap is needed, use mild, moisturizing, unscented soap. Heat rash also problem baby skin and causes little bumps on the skin that can show up when your baby overheats. Keep your baby comfortably cool by dressing him in loose-fitting, light cotton clothing, especially in warm, humid weather. Massaging lotions and oils into your baby's skin can relieve irritation. But anything you use should be free of petrochemicals , which are themselves irritants. Premature babies skin is even more delicate, so it is important to withhold all products until their approximate due date, as their skin takes longer to mature. If your baby is overdue, his/her skin may well be dry and cracked. Don't be tempted to use any creams or lotions. If night-time itching is a problem, use a cold, damp washcloth to soothe the child's skin.

Baby Skin Care Tips

1. Babies’ skin needs cleaning and cares for a healthy function during their growth.

2. Humidity causes macerations. Don’t use talc. It is abrasive and irritates the skin.

3. Protect baby skin from sunburn as well as associated problems such as freckles and premature wrinkles.

4. Avoid frequent baths for eczema.

5. Keep baby’s skin from becoming dry and itchy by adding non-allergenic oil to the bathwater.

6. If your baby has seborrheic dermatitis, a mild hydrocortisone cream (0.5%) is safe and usually effective.

7. Apply unscented petroleum jelly or a cream with zinc oxide to the skin of the diaper area to protect and lubricate for diaper rash.

8. Avoid using baby powder or talc.

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Juliet Cohen writes articles for skin care tips and skin care treatment. For more information visit our skin care section.

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