Many new mothers suffer from confusion and anxiety when they notice changes to the skin of their babies, such as redness, roughness, discolouration, or the appearance of bruises, etc. These changes may be natural and do not cause any concern, but at other times they require immediate attention and treatment from the mother.
One of the common causes that lead to such changes in the skin is dry skin in newborns, but how do you know if your child suffers from dry skin or are there other reasons that require special medical care?
What you love about your baby’s soft, fresh and pleasant-smelling skin is what makes her more sensitive and prone to dryness, especially in the colder months of the year. In this article, we will review the differences between normal dry skin and other health conditions that need medical care, and give you valuable advice on how to treat dry skin in your baby.
What are the causes of dry skin in infants?
Almost all children suffer from dry skin from time to time, and naturally, the reasons that make us adults suffer from dry skin are the same that leave the skin of our children vulnerable to thirst, such as the cold weather or the dry air that usually accompanies winter or spending a long time in Hot bath water. However, children’s skin is thinner and more vulnerable to these factors.
How do I know that my child suffers from dry skin?
The symptoms of dry skin range from slight redness to peeling skin or even cracks. The following are the most prominent symptoms that you should pay attention to first:
Dry lips are a common problem in infants, especially if they drool a lot. This makes the lips and around them constantly wet due to saliva. This moisture causes skin irritation, and as is known, irritated skin is more vulnerable and prone to cracking.
Despite its beauty and our desire to always be caressed, the reddish cheeks of children may sometimes be a sign of dry skin, especially if it is accompanied by cracking and peeling of the skin. These tender cheeks are easy to irritate on cold, windy days.
Dry skin associated with itching
You may notice that your baby is constantly trying to scratch himself or feel upset and cry for no reason. You have to look closely for red spots all over his body, as they always appear as irritated or scaly. If you find these signs, your baby may have dry skin, so you need to work harder to protect him from cold weather.
How do you differentiate between dry skin and eczema in your baby?
You may be confused in determining whether these irritated patches are just dry skin or some type of eczema and you are absolutely right. Dry skin has many common features with eczema. But there are a few nuances by which you can determine its nature:
Eczema patches have more pronounced edges: although dry skin may appear rough and scaly as well, eczema is often associated with inflammation. It is pinkish-red in children with fair skin, and may be brown, purple or gray in children with darker skin. Also, on the surface of the skin affected by eczema, some pimples filled with liquids may appear.
Eczema appears in separate areas of the body: dry skin patches often appear on the hands, legs, face and lips, but eczema also appears in areas that are not prone to drying out, such as, behind the ears, scalp, or at the folds of his elbows or behind his knees.
Eczema is not necessarily related to cold weather: Although eczema, like dryness, may be exacerbated in cold and dry weather conditions or hot baths, eczema may also be affected by other factors such as milk, sweat, dust, coarse cloth or soap and detergents. This varies from child to child.
How do you treat dry skin in your baby?
Avoid long hot baths
Fill your baby’s bath with warm water and choose a fragrance-free wash and alkaline soap. And when it is time to dry him, avoid rubbing the towel against his body, but pass it gently and gently on his skin and do not forget to apply moisturizer after the bath.
Keep your baby’s skin constantly moisturized
Use a moisturizing cream for your child after the bath and again or twice during the day, and try to choose creams or ointments that are fragrance-free and hypoallergenic.
And from the inside too
Internal moisturizing is just as important as external moisturizing of the skin. Make sure your baby gets enough fluids through breast milk or infant formula. But you should never offer him water without first obtaining the doctor’s permission, which often happens after he completes his sixth month.
Set the baby’s room temperature
Hot air tends to be drier, so you should aim for the room temperature to be within 20 ° C and don’t forget to add a steamer for more moisture.
Protect it well in the winter season
Before going out, make sure your baby is well prepared when the weather is cold outside. A must-have hat, and don’t forget to apply a moisturizing cream to your cheeks, hands and lips, especially on days of active air.
Always be ready for drooling
Always keep some cotton tissues on hand to dry saliva droplets, burps, or a runny nose that dry out the skin, especially with cold weather.
Choose a laundry detergent for your child
Always make sure that the detergent you use is designed to take into account the delicate skin of the baby .
Choose your baby care products carefully
Avoid lotions that contain perfume or alcohol, as these ingredients may irritate the baby’s skin . Although lotion is a good choice for daily use, the skin of infants may not need that much, so replace the lotion with thicker creams that are more effective on dry patches of skin .
To reduce the effect of dry skin after a bath , avoid using soaps and other bath products that contain: perfumes, alkaline cleansers, and deodorants. Instead, try to rely on a baby shampoo without alkaline soap.
People think that sun protection is only necessary during the summer, but the winter sun, although not strong, bright surfaces or snow may reflect UV rays causing skin burns.
Sunblock should not be used by children under the age of 6 months. Instead, try to limit when your baby is in the sun at the height of the day or use a UV filter on his stroller or car windows.
When should I see a doctor?
Following the strategies mentioned above will often work to keep your baby’s skin soft and supple. But if the dry patches start to spread and are stronger than they should be, and appear cracked or painful, consult a doctor who may recommend the use of certain moisturizers to help your child recover quickly.