What’s Your Baby’s Skin Telling You?
First-time parents may worry about every bump, rash, and dry patch on their baby’s skin, but the reality is that babies’ skin is very fragile, and many times that unusual spot that parents see is nothing to worry about. Here we will go over some common conditions that a baby’s skin can have, and ways to prevent and treat those conditions.
Common Skin Conditions in Babies and How to Treat Them
When a baby is first born, it is very common for their sensitive skin to form what looks like baby pimples. Baby acne can be found on a baby’s face or chest. These red patches are harmless and very normal. There is nothing parents need to do to treat this condition. Baby acne will go away on its own after a few weeks of the baby’s birth.
Milia or White Bumps
Milia are tiny white bumps that almost look like small whitehead pimples. They are very common in newborns, and it is very important that parents do not try to pop these. Milia will go away on its own in a few weeks after a baby is born.
Erythema Toxicum Neonatum (or ETN)
ETN is a rash that can look very similar to baby acne. This skin condition in babies is very common and can usually be found on a baby’s face and torso, but also on their legs and arms. The rash looks like yellow and white bumps surrounded by red irritated skin. ETN is harmless and will usually go away after a few weeks of the baby’s birth.
Dry Peeling Skin on Newborns
It is very common for newborns to have what looks like dry peeling skin. Many times, this is unavoidable, as the skin that was protecting the baby in the womb starts to shed. Many pediatricians advise not to put anything on their baby’s skin during the first few weeks of their life as the skin is coming off. The skin should start to look normal after a couple of weeks.
Eczema is another very common condition found on babies’ skin. Eczema is characterized as a red rash that can either be dry and patchy or weepy. This skin condition can be linked to a family’s history of asthma or allergies. Many babies grow out of the skin condition by the time they become a toddler. If a baby suffers from eczema, make sure to use baby soap and detergent for sensitive skin. If a parent notices that the skin is getting worst or becoming weepy, a doctor can prescribe medication.
Cradle Cap is a flakey red or yellow rash that is found on the top of a baby’s head, around the eyebrows and eyelids, or even around the side of a baby’s nose. Cradle cap is caused by an excessive amount of oil in the skin. Cradle cap can appear anywhere from birth to a few months after birth and can last for a while. Parents can treat cradle cap by applying baby oil, using special shampoo, or certain creams. If the condition seems to get worst, parents can consult a doctor who can prescribe a topical treatment.
Diaper Rash is a very common condition that most babies suffer from at least once. Diaper rash is red irritated skin in the diaper region of a baby. There are many things that can cause a diaper rash, but all can be treated. First, make sure the baby’s diaper is not on too tight. A tight diaper that leaves the skin unable to breathe could cause rashes. In addition, make sure that the baby is changed often. Wet diapers that sit for long periods of time can cause these uncomfortable rashes. Some babies’ skin can be sensitive, so certain detergents can also cause diaper rashes. Parents can use breathable diapers and soft wipes that are meant for sensitive skin. To treat a diaper rash, make sure that the area is clean and dried completely and put rash cream on the area.
Best Tips for Keeping Your Baby’s Skin Healthy
Avoid Direct Sun
Babies should not wear sunscreen until they are at least six months of age. Instead, parents can take some steps to ensure their new baby does not get sunburned. One thing is to dress babies appropriately for the weather. Putting a hat that covers the child’s neck and face can be beneficial. In addition, keep babies in shade as much as possible. The worst sun rays are in the middle of the day, so avoiding going out in direct sunlight during peak hours can protect your child from bad UV rays. Once a baby is six months of age they can start wearing sunscreen that is sensitive to babies skin.
Don’t Over Moisturize
It can be normal for new babies to have dry skin or flaky skin, and some pediatricians advise not to put moisturizer on a baby’s skin. If using moisturizer is completely unavoidable, petroleum jelly or lotion with no fragrance can be used.
Don’t Over Bathe a Baby
Over bathing a baby can make their skin dry and patchy. It is best to only bathe newborns once or twice a week when needed. Use gentle soap and a soft washcloth to dab a baby clean. A baby will only need a quick bath, about five to ten minutes, and once out make sure that the baby is completely dry before putting on a diaper and clothing.
Trim Baby’s Fingernails Regularly
As previously mentioned, a baby’s skin can be very dry during the first few months of the baby’s life, and because of this, it is very easy for the baby to scratch themselves. Trimming a baby’s fingernails regularly will help avoid scratches on the baby’s face and body.
As a first-time parent, it is very normal to worry about their baby’s well-being and every little rash may seem concerning, but hopefully, this guide will help ease some worries of parents with newborns and young ones.