Newborn and Baby

Baby Skin Care

Written by Dr. Suvash Sahu and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.

 

In today’s scenario, there are lots of child skincare products, which confuse us. Parents should buy those products that are marketed by branded companies and have been in the market for a long duration of time.

Bathing or Cleaning Your Baby

Bathing is usually required for maintaining proper hygiene and to clear harmful bacteria over the body. Ideally, the duration of bathing your baby should not be more than five minutes. Or, it can increase the water content of your baby’s skin and make the skin more trauma-prone.

Ideally, Syndet soap should be used for bathing as Syndets (synthetic detergents) have a neutral or slightly acidic pH and are less irritating to the skin. They do not form a soap scum layer. Various studies show that skin washed with Syndet soap has shown well-preserved lipid and protein regions compared to significant damage to both layers by normal day to day using soap.

After taking a bath, your baby should be dried thoroughly, particularly over body folds like groin and axilla to prevent humidity in these areas. Otherwise, fungal or bacterial infection may grow.

Regular Change of Diapers

Undergarments or diapers should be changed frequently at least at the time of breastfeeding your baby. Undergarments should be carefully washed in lukewarm water and rinsed off and then dried thoroughly. The area, which is usually occupied by a diaper, is specifically vulnerable as it is a closed environment with frequent wetting suitable for growing of bacteria or fungus or other microorganisms. It is more often moist because of sweating and frequent wetting. Hence, the skin becomes more prone to macerate and become more permeable to other irritants and microorganisms.

The skin of that area is also vulnerable for damage as there is a change in alkalinity of this area due to urine and feces. This is the reason for the need to change diapers frequently and is of utmost importance to prevent your baby from any kind of infection in the nappy area.

Care of Scalp

In most of the infants or neonates, because of the influence of maternal hormones their skin has more sebum secretion. It will lead to the development of seborrheic capitis, which usually presents as soft to hard crust over the scalp. It is usually taken care by shampoo. Before shampooing, the scalp should be soaked in lukewarm coconut or olive oil for 10 to 20 minutes, which softens the crust and then shampooing of the scalp by using plain Ketoconazole or Ketoconazole with Zinc pyrithione should be done two to three times per week. One should never try to remove it or scratch it with nails as it can lead to abrasion and become potential sites for infection.

Moisturizing Cream

Basically, bland emollient without fragrance are safe for your baby's skin in preventing peeling and flaking of skin. Mineral oils like olive oil are very safe and when applied gently to the skin reduces the cracking or fissuring of your baby’s skin

Talcum Powder

Powders are useful for absorbing excessive moisture or sweat during hot and humid environment. They primarily prevent maceration over body folds like axilla, groin, and neck. Too much of application can lead to blockage of the sweat duct opening and cause prickly heat like rashes over the body folds. The powder should be soft, non-irritant and fragrance-free.

Body Massage of Your Baby

Massage not only increases cutaneous blood circulation but also gives a sense of touch, which fulfills the basic need of feeling safe, comfortable and loved. Mineral oil is ideal for body massage because of its easy spreadability and better moisturizing action. Massage should be done from head to toe and should be gentle. Massage should be avoided or withheld if the child or the mother has any contagious skin infections at any point in time.

Massage helps in proper physiological growth of the baby, and it also has a psychological benefit.

Last reviewed at: 10.Sep.2018

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