Along with the joy of a newborn comes a lot of responsibilities and confusion on what is right and what is wrong for the baby. Often, there is more advice and suggestions which leave the new mother worried. Here are a few newborn skin care tips by Dr. Tina Ramachander to make simple decisions which are scientific and in the best interest of the newborn.
Always remember that baby skin is delicate, absorbs more and day-to-day products can get into the system much easier. So, newborn skin care is much needed initially.
Newborn Skin Care Tips:
- Use baby washes, lotions etc. wisely not by the most popular brand but by medical advice.
- Baby care products should be paraben, sulfate-free, PH balanced products as they are much safer.
- It’s a common tradition to massage newborns with oil but may lead to rashes. So, it’s best to wait for at least a month before starting the baby massage.
- Diaper rashes are one of the most common issues faced by babies as their exposure to a wet soggy environment with urine and feces aggravate the rash, leaving the skin prone to fungal infections like candidiasis. Irritation due to alcohol-based wipes can make it worse.
- Try to use plain water to clean the area and after patting dry, apply a skin cream which is emollient-based and protects the surface.
- Zinc-containing agents work great on soothing diaper rashes. Such diaper creams can be safely used for mosquito bites too.
- The choice of a diaper nowadays are many and the property of it keeping the area dry for long keeps the diaper rash at bay. Frequent changes and use of diapers with soft surfaces also help in newborn skin care.
- When using cloth nappies, remember to use the right detergent since the baby’s skin might absorb the detergent. The change of cloth should be more frequent than diaper changes.
- The first 28 days of the baby is the neonatal age. Rashes and peeling of skin are very common during this phase.
- Many of the early life rashes on the skin are physiological or normal and it is advised to be left to heal by itself.
- Rashes around the mouth and neck are usually due to saliva drooling on the skin, you can avoid soap and apply bland emollients to relieve this.
Once you get over with newborn skin care, common skin problems such as lice, dandruff, mosquito bites, etc. come in your way. Let’s discuss these common skin problems in older children.
Common skin problems in older children
Papular urticaria or mosquito bite
Papular urticaria or mosquito bite reactions is another condition which is common in a little older children, characterized by itchy reddish boils on arms and legs with a scar. The child tends to pick on the skin more.
This is best controlled by parents by educating their wards. Children usually tend to overgrow this.
The preventive measures include covering themselves fully while playing outdoors, taking measures to reduce mosquitoes especially in this season and give symptomatic relief with medication to the child.
White patches that form on the skin is also another skin condition which is common. Deficiency and sun-induced are common causes but sunscreens aren’t advised for kids since they need the sun to help their bones grow strong, But, in such cases, a pediatric sunscreen can be used and appropriate prescription medications along with deworming can help.
Lice is another common problem faced by school-going kids. It is best to inform the school or daycare facility and medicate the child. These are very common and usually settles well with right measures such as an anti-lice shampoo prescription.
Dandruff is a hormonal change related scalp disorder usually seen in kids post-8-years-of-age. Due to time constraints, parents opt for once-a-week hair washes which can aggravate dandruff.
A hair wash frequency of 2-3 times per week is good to keep the scalp hygienic. Use mild scalp cleansers and anti-dandruff products to get rid of flakes. But, do not use such products for more than six months as it makes scalp fungus resistant.
Applying oil is traditionally considered good for hair and scalp. It is true to some extent as oil reduces tangling, conditions hair and protects it from UV radiation.
Among children, starting from 7-8 years and all through their teen years and beyond, oil secretion on the scalp is already more. In such cases, it is best to limit the duration of oiling especially if dandruff is already present. Oil once a week, leave it for half an hour and wash it off. Oil can also be used more for the hair shaft rather than the scalp which will condition it.
Sometimes use of home-made products, though chemical-free, can also be harmful. Dry skin gets worse when horse gram or moong dal powders are rubbed onto the skin, while turmeric bought at a retail outlet may contain metal powder and mixed dyes can lead to allergies. There are some cases of people being allergic to Aloe Vera too.
Choose wisely and everyday care of skin goes a long way in preventing diseases.
Disclaimer: The views expressed by the dermatologist is for general information and not for self-medication. Please consult a medical professional before treating any skin disease.
Dr. Tina Ramachander is a dermatologist and cosmetologist. She is Medical Director, Dr. Tina’s Skin Solutionz, below Bata showroom, KIA road, Sahakarnagar. Call 080-40913394or 9035098652. Log on to skinsolutionz.in for more information.
Wish you a very Happy Parenting!