Health and Wellness

Take Good Care of Your Baby's Skin

8:10 AM

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A baby’s skin is a delicate thing, which means that., as a parent, you need to do your best to look after it.
There are few babies who haven’t been subject to some kind of minor skin complaint at some point in their infant, whether it be baby acne, cradle cap of the dreaded diaper rash, but there are some things any mom can do to minimize the chances of it happening to their child, which is very good if you don’t want to be left dealing with an irritable baby, feeling helpless because you can’t do very much to alleviate their discomfort.

If you currently have a little bundle of joy in your home, here are some tips to help you take care of your baby’s skin:


Tips on Rashes
It is very common for a newborn to develop a rash or a skin problem or two and most of them are not serious - they will vanish on their own in a short amount of time - however, there are some skin issues that are a bit more complicated. It is your job as a parent to determine which rashes you can safely deal with at home and which may require more attention…

Meningitis
Although this article is primarily about looking after baby skin, rather than tackling serious medical issues, I thought I would start by mentioning meningitis, which often includes a red rash made up of what looks like lots of small pinpricks. If you notice your baby has a rash like this, roll a glass over it and if it doesn’t disappear, check for other symptoms of meningitis. If you feel there is even a possibility it is meningitis, call the emergency services or get to the ER asap - meningitis can be a killer, especially when it isn’t caught early!

Diaper Rash
Diaper rash is characterized by angry red skin around the area where your baby wears her diaper. It is most commonly caused by diapers that are either too tight or which have been left unchanged for too long a time.

Diaper rashes can be handled at home using a diaper rash cream to soothe the area once a rash has appeared, but it is much better to prevent it from occurring in the first place by letting the area that is usually covered by a diaper be exposed to the air as often as possible and by changing your infant’s diaper as soon as you notice in needs changing. You should also ensure that the area is as clean as it can possibly be and that diaper rash cream is applied after each diaper change.

Whiteheads and Pimples
We tend to associate whiteheads and pimples more with teenagers that little babies, but babies are just as likely to suffer from spots and acne if they are exposed to high levels of yeast. Most of the time, these will vanish on their own and you should not be tempted to pop them- that would hurt baby and possibly cause infection - but you can try to minimize their occurrence by keeping baby clean, so that yeast infections don’t occur and by keeping yeast to a minimum in your child’s diet once they are old enough for solids.

Birthmarks

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A lot of babies are born with birthmarks or develop them in the first few months of life, and most of them are small and discrete and not at all worrying, However, a small proportion of birthmarks will be bigger and more ’scary’ looking than the rest. So, if you’re worried about your baby’s birthmark, it is a very good idea to see a pediatrician who will be able to either alleviate your fears or discuss the possibility of treating the birthmark. If your child has a birthmark that sticks out’ and that can be reached, having them wear gloves or keeping their nails very well trimmed is a good way of ensuring they don’t catch it wrong and cause it to bleed.

Eczema
Eczema, as you probably know, is a red rash that is quite itchy and can also be flaky. Usually, eczema has a trigger such as an allergy or asthma, so if your baby is showing signs of suffering from the condition, it is important that you see a pediatrician, Not only so you can get them some relief, but also so that you can get to the bottom of the cause and hopefully minimize the condition. In the meantime, you should aim to use fragrance-free soaps for sensitive baby skin, along with gentle laundry soaps and suitable moisturizer. If medicine is prescribed, be careful to use it as directed.

Dry Skin
Dry skin is, unlike eczema, not something that you need to be overly worried about, especially if your labor was a late one because it is basically just the skin peeling to reveal a soft, supple new layer underneath. It is only if your baby’s skin stays dry over a longer period of time that it is perhaps cause for concern, upon which a pediatrician should be consulted.

Cradle Caps
Cradle cap is an unpleasant condition in terms of the way it makes the skin look, but one that is not particularly harmful to your child. Cradle cap is typically caused by an excess of oil in the skin and although it predominantly affects the scalp, it can also affect the eyebrows, eyelids and the nose too. It is typified by white dandruff-like flakes and a red, scaly rash, and it can be treated using baby oil, specially formulated shampoo or even lotion. It is a good idea to ask your baby’s pediatrician what he believes you should use to clear up the problem.

Prickly Heat
Prickly heat can scare parents because it is typified by a rash made up of small light red bumps. However, it isn’t a particularly serious condition. It does, however, cause some discomfort to your baby, which is why you should take steps to prevent excessive sweating.How do you do this? By dressing your baby in loose layers that can be added to or removed depending on her temperature and by changing her diaper regularly.

Milia
Milia are white bumps that around 50 percent of newborns will develop. They typically affect the nose and face area, and they are caused by skin flakes getting into and blocking oil glands. They are often referred to as baby acne, but they are actually a different condition with baby acne being caused by yeast. Typically, milia do not need to be treated and will vanish of their own accord within a few months, so don’t panic!

Yeast Infections
Babies are as likely to suffer from yeast infections as anyone else, and they are most likely to suffer from them after being treated for other conditions with antibiotics. They come in many forms, from the aforementioned baby acne to thrush of the mouth and tongue to red rashes. They need to be attended to by a pediatrician because antifungal or anti-yeast medications are the fastest way of curing them and ensuring that your baby suffers the minimum discomfort possible.

Skin Care Tips

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Now that we’ve covered rashes and other baby skin conditions, here are a few tips to help you take the best possible care of your baby’s skin:

Skip the Powder
Many parents think that their baby’s bottom needs to be powdered with talc to keep it free from diaper rash, but as long as the area is kept exposed for as long as possible and they are changed regularly, and providing diaper rash cream is used, this is not necessary, and since they have been known to cause lung issues, they are probably best avoided.

Use Baby-Friendly Detergents
Using only gentle baby friendly detergents to clean everything from your child’s clothing to towels and blankets they user and even your own clothing will help to prevent irritation that can result in rashes, dry skin and eczema.

Try Light Therapy
If your baby has a skin condition like jaundice (characterized by yellow skin) or dry skin, then exposing them to more light, either by taking them out (ideal) or organizing a course of light therapy, is likely to improve the condition. 

Sunscreen
While we’re on the subject of light therapy, it is of the utmost importance that you ensure your child wears sunscreen whenever they are going to be exposed to light, not just during light therapy trips because a baby’s skin is even more delicate than ours, and it could very easily be burned even on a short trip out.

Keep it Natural
Whether you’re looking for bubble bath, soap, baby moisturizer or anything else that will come into contact with their skin, then you should be looking to purchase products that have as little non-natural; ingredients such as parabens and dyes in them as possible because they can cause skin flare-ups and allergies and make existing problems much worse.

I hope this helps you to take even better care of your baby’s skin so that he or she can feel as comfy as possible in those first few months and years.

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