Does your baby have dry and itchy spots on his skin? Did you notice any white spots that seem flaky and rough to touch? If this sounds like your baby, he may be suffering from dry skin. But, don’t worry! Read our post below. Here we talk about dry skin in babies, and what you can do to help your little angel get well.
Causes Of Dry Skin In Babies:
Dry skin is a common condition that can affect your little one. Your baby’s skin is extra sensitive, and hence it can easily be prone to getting dry and flaky. Your baby may have highly sensitive skin as compared to other babies, or the situation may grow worse during a particular weather.
Here are a few common reasons why there is a dry skin on baby:
- Your baby could have dry and peeling skin, right after being born. It is a common occurrence if your baby has been born after you completed 40 weeks of pregnancy. Do not worry about it, as the skin will heal in the next few days.
- If you keep your baby in the water during bath time for too long, it could also lead to dry skin issues. If your baby has skin that is extra sensitive as compared to other babies, it could worsen his condition.
- Using baby soap during the first few weeks and months after your baby is born could take away a lot of moisture from your baby’s skin. Baby soap can also strip the natural oils from your baby’s skin and make it particularly dry.
- During winters, the harsh cold air can strip away natural moisture and oils from your baby’s skin and make it dry. If your baby already has dry skin, it will make the condition even worse.
- Keeping your baby indoors for too long, especially in temperature that is controlled, could cause dry patches on the skin. Warm and hot air is mostly drying on the skin, and it can also worsen an already dry skin condition.
- In some cases, your baby could be affected by eczema, which is a common condition amongst most babies. If your baby has eczema, you will notice red patches on the skin that are often crusty to the touch. Do make sure to speak to your baby’s doctor about it and know more about eczema and how to treat it (1).
[ Read: Common Baby Skin Allergies ]
Tips To Prevent Newborn Dry Skin:
To ensure that your baby does not suffer from dry skin, or to treat a dry skin situation, do follow the below mentioned tips on a regular basis:
- Make sure your baby is always well hydrated, whether you are breastfeeding or have introduced the formula.
- Use a baby body moisturizer and make sure you apply it to your little one at least twice a day. In case your baby suffers from a particularly severe case of dry skin, schedule an appointment with your baby’s doctor to check for medicated creams.
- Always ensure that you dry your baby properly after bath time. Pay extra attention to the skin folds, joints and other areas that may be humid and wet.
- Use a good humidifier in the room where your baby will be sleeping or spending most of the time. You can choose one which does not make too much noise and is also easy to clean.
- If your baby has been in the swimming pool or had a day out at the beach, clean up properly using regular water. The chlorine from the swimming pool and the salt in the sea or ocean water and even in the breeze at the beach can dry out your baby’s skin.
- During cold weather, make your baby wear mittens and socks and cover up your baby properly.
- To clean your baby’s clothes, use a detergent and a fabric-softener that is specifically meant for baby’s clothes. Choose one that is extra soft.
[ Read: Best Lotions For Babies ]
What Types Of Oils Or Lotions Should You Use For Dry Skin In Babies:
When your baby is affected with dry skin, make sure you keep an eye on the type of oil or lotion you are using to massage:
1. Sunflower Oil:
It contains a high amount of linoleic acid, which is a type of fatty acid that will help protect your baby’s skin against dryness. It is the best lotion for baby dry skin.
2. Grapeseed Oil:
It also contains a high amount of linoleic acid which will protect the natural barrier element in your baby’s skin and prevent dryness.
3. Perfume-Free Baby Mineral Oil:
The baby oil for dry skin is odorless and transparent, it protects your baby’s skin against dryness by sealing in the moisture.
4. Petroleum Based Emollients:
They are especially designed to help keep your baby’s skin soft and maintain its elasticity.
[ Read: Best Oils For Baby Skin ]
1. Mustard Oil:
It can create a toxic effect on your baby’s skin barrier, making it prone to irritation and damage.
2. Unrefined Peanut Oil:
It contains certain proteins that can cause an allergic reaction in your baby, leading to dry skin condition.
3. Aqueous Cream:
It contains a very strong detergent known as sodium lauryl sulfate. The same can damage your baby’s skin and lead to dryness.
4. Vegetable Oils That Are High In Their Oleic Acid Content:
Some vegetables oils have an especially high content of a type of fatty acid known as oleic acid. Such oils will be harsher on your babies dry skin and will cause dryness or further worsen a dry skin condition.
5. Olive Oil:
Unlike what most people believe, olive oil contains a very high amount of oleic acid. As compared to sunflower seed oil, olive oil for baby dry skin can cause damage to your baby’s natural skin barrier. It can also sometimes cause redness and itching on your baby’s skin.
6. Sunflower Seed Oil With High Oleic Acid Content:
Even though it is a common cosmetic ingredient, the high oleic acid content can be detrimental to the skin and may also lead to breast cancer in the long run (2).
[ Read: Skin Care For Babies ]
How To Read The Labels On Baby Oils Or Lotions?
Most baby or other oils and lotions will not directly list the proportion of linoleic or oleic acid. Look for oils and lotions that have a higher percentage of linoleic acid as compared to the oleic acid content. Oils and lotions that contain a higher amount of linoleic acid will have a higher listing of polyunsaturated fat. Oils and lotions that contain a higher amount of oleic acid will have a higher listing of monounsaturated fats. Go for products that have a higher content of polyunsaturated fats. In case the percentage or amount is not mentioned, or is same, you may want to skip it or check with your doctor about it.
Keeping your baby well hydrated and moisturized is important to treating initial skin dryness problems. If you feel the condition is worsening, schedule an appointment with the doctor.
[ Read: Fungal Skin Infection In Babies ]
Did your baby suffer from skin dryness? What did you do about newborn dry skin? Tell us here.
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