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For a parent, their baby’s health is of utmost importance. This means taking care of their internal health by ensuring the right kind of nutrition and choosing products that not only secure their well-being but also their comfort. Parents have to be very careful about choosing everything from diapers to skincare products. For choosing the right skincare product, you need to understand the skin issues that can become a problem for babies. Dry skin is a particularly vexing problem in babies that parents need to deal with.
Video: Baby Dry Skin – Causes, Remedies & Prevention
What Is Dry Skin?
Your baby’s skin is thinner and more delicate than your skin. Their skin is, thus, more sensitive to the environment. Baby dry skin patches are common during the harsh winter and summer months.
What Are the Causes of Dry Skin?
Babies are covered in vernix which is a thick coating that protects the baby’s skin from the amniotic fluid. After birth, the nurse will wipe the vernix off your baby. Once it’s removed, there will be some peeling or flaking. This is usually seen on the skin of the hands, soles, and ankles.
Other reasons why your baby might have dry skin include:
- The environment they are in is too cold, too hot, or too dry. The environment affects the skin of your baby more than it affects your skin. It takes away the precious moisture in your baby’s skin. Such an environment could be caused by using a heater during the winter months or using an air conditioner during the summer months.
- Bathing your baby too much will strip her skin of the extra oils and moisture she needs to stay hydrated.
How to Treat Your Baby’s Dry Skin
There are many steps you can take to help your baby’s skin stay hydrated. Dry skin remedies for babies can be found right at your home without having to make a trip to the doctor.
Home Remedies for Dry Skin in Babies
Use a moisturiser: If you notice that your baby’s skin has dry patches of skin with flaking, then you must start using a moisturiser at least twice a day. There are many moisturisers in the market that cater especially to babies. Be sure to get advice from your doctor on which baby cream to use. Never use moisturisers made for adults, as they have chemicals in the composition that will be harmful to your baby’s sensitive skin. In addition to using a baby moisturiser, you can use baby soap to correct the dryness of the skin.
Use a humidifier: The environment in which your baby is in makes a big difference to her skin. If the environment is too dry, then it will strip the oils and moisture from your baby’s skin. To correct this, you can keep a humidifier in her room. This will correct the humidity levels and fix any dryness in the air.
Oil Massage: Using olive oil or baby oil for a daily massage, or applying it topically to dry patches, effectively moisturises the baby’s skin. This helps protect against dry skin.
Use Petroleum Jelly: Thick and protective, petroleum jelly helps combat dryness by locking in the moisture of the skin. You can apply a thin layer to the dry patches of skin.
Use Calendula: Calendula, which is a skin-friendly herb, when mixed with coconut oil, becomes an effective remedy for dry skin. You can use this in consultation with the doctor especially if the baby is suffering from eczema.
How to Prevent Your Baby From Getting Dry Skin
While dry skin in babies is easily corrected, it could be uncomfortable for your baby. Here are a few ways in which you can prevent your baby’s skin from drying out.
- Do not bathe your baby too frequently: Contrary to what you might think, a baby requires no more than three baths a week. You must also restrict the amount of time your baby spends in the water.
- Massage with oil: The oil massage, not just aids in your child’s development, it also ensures that too much oil is not removed from her skin.
- Lukewarm water: Using hot water will strip the essential oils from your baby’s skin. Use lukewarm water instead.
- Use the right soap: Baby products are widely recommended for a reason. They are best suited for your baby and consider the sensitivity and delicate nature of your baby’s skin. They are less harsh than soaps made for adults.
- Play in water: If your baby loves playing in the water, then let her do so in clean water rather than soapy water. It is less drying and will not irritate her skin.
- Pat dry: The wiping motion of a towel against your baby’s skin can prove to be too abrasive for her delicate skin. Make sure you pat the excess moisture off her skin.
- Cover your child: Clothes are a great barrier and do not let too much moisture evaporate from your baby’s skin. This is especially true if you are taking your baby outside. The sun and the wind could cause a loss of moisture. A broad spectrum baby-sunscreen with SPF over 15 can safely be applied to babies over 6 months old.
- Baby laundry detergent: The clothes your baby wears can be abrasive to her skin if not washed with baby-friendly laundry detergent.
Could Dry Skin in Babies Be a Sign of Any Condition?
Sometimes, the dry patches on your baby’s skin might turn red. This could possibly mean that she has eczema or atopic dermatitis. Mostly, baby dry skin eczema will clear if you moisturise the skin regularly. You should visit your doctor only if the redness persists even after a few days or itches despite moisturizing.
Ichthyosis is a rare genetic condition that shows dry skin with scaling and redness. It is accompanied by the thickening of the skin on the hands and soles. A dermatologist’s evaluation is necessary for this condition.
Always consult a doctor before administering any new skincare products to your baby. Talk to your doctor about preventive measures for dry skin in your baby. While testing new products for your baby, ensure that you pay close attention to their skin and behaviour to make sure that there is no adverse reaction to your baby’s health. In case of any rashes, blisters, scabs or any other side effects, discontinue the product and immediately talk to a skin specialist for healthier alternatives.