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What all do you need to know from your Pediatric Dermatologist in Bangalore?
Authored by Dr. Divya Sharma

This is the first article I am writing on baby care and hygiene. As a Pediatric Dermatologist it is my responsibility to guide you about your newborn baby care and how I can help you in taking the best of its potential. The skin is an organ which acts as a protective barrier between internal organs and the external environment. A healthy skin with intact barrier function is essential for survival and growth of the baby, as it prevents loss of fluids and salts and entry of infections and toxins into the body.

Baby has beautiful and very tender skin which needs extra care during its growing years. The first 2 years are most crucial as the baby's skin undergoes maximum changes in terms of its growth and development.

This article will cover all aspects like newborn skin, baby skin care routine, types of rashes seen in babies at different age groups, common problems seen in children related to skin , how to handle them etc. Please read the entire article before you go ahead with my suggestions. I have made it very simple and easy for you to understand and implement.

Every new born baby has a different color of skin, some may look very fair and pinkish or deep brown with black patches on skin or even red with yellow patches on skin due to birth marks. But the skin is always sensitive and requires extra care during the first 2 years of life. My article will cover all aspects of baby skin care starting from newborns to toddlers .

Most important rule in baby skin care is "Prevention is better than cure". So kindly follow my suggestion and advice on how you can avoid most common skin problems seen in children.

In majority cases no specific treatment or medicines are required for babies' rashes, especially in the first 6 months. Frequent visits to your pediatric dermatologist are not required, but if you face any doubt with respect to handling your baby you can seek my advice.

I will be happy to help you! So let’s understand the different aspects of proper skin care for babies.

Almost every mother wants the best for her baby and in this article we will talk about some good skin care tips which you can use on your baby with utmost dedication. This is one such thing that every new mom desires to know about, be it a normal delivery or a c-section. While most of them would keep asking around at home and in their circle, here we are to help you out with all the required information related to your baby.

Q1: How do I know when my baby's skin is dry?

You can see scales and cracks on the skin of your baby, which is a sign of dryness. Apart from that, there will be a mild itching and flaking on the skin. You feel that the child is scratching at times.

Q2: What should I do when my baby's skin is dry?

When your baby has dryness, you can apply soft moisturizer cream while bathing him/her after moisturizing. It is equally important to protect your baby from excessive bathing and use of hot water .

 Q3: What is prickly heat?

Prickly heat occurs in hot weather conditions. It causes redness, itching and a mild burning sensation on your baby's skin which disappears within a few hours. Applying cool compress for relief from symptoms helps to improve the condition. Avoid wearing more than two layers of clothes especially in the winter season. Avoid using too much oil and putting sweaters on it.

Q4: What is eczema?

Infants are predisposed for dry skin. When the skin becomes itchy, red, papules occur on flexures of arms/legs etc., they are called eczema. Depending on the age group , there may be a variable distribution. The rashes are localized to folds like elbows , knees in children less than 2 years of age. As a child achieves the age of 6 to 8 years onwards, the rashes may present on hands, knees and elbows.

Q5: My child is 6 months old. Just lately he has developed a few patches on his legs. It looks like dry skin but spreads across the leg and becomes very red sometimes. I gave him a bath with baby soap daily for 2 weeks but did not get any relief. I have applied coconut oil every night for a week with little change in the condition. His legs also itch and we don't know how to control it. What should I do?

To begin with, your child might be having eczema . It is an inflammatory skin condition which is characterized by dry and scaly patches on the skin. The exact cause for eczema is not known, but it can run in families and has a tendency to be worse during winter months. Other triggers include dry climate or low humidity, stress, dust mites, certain food items (rare in Indians), pets, etc.

The child's age and duration of symptoms are important before you can make the diagnosis of eczema . Eczema is common in children between 6 months and 2 years of age, but it can happen at any age.

Itching comes from histamine release , which causes irritation on the skin surface. There are certain creams available over-the-counter which are best suited according to the age of your child. In my practice, I prefer to use a combination cream as they tend to work better. Use it for at least 2 weeks before you see any improvement and do not stop treatment once you start seeing changes – usually about 1 – 2 weeks later – as this might cause relapse. Once the condition is under control, reduce the frequency to once or twice a day and use the cream only when required.

Please do not apply any oil ( like coconut ) as it can make the skin worse. It is ok if you bathe your child daily with normal tap water, but avoid using scented baby bath products as these also can trigger or worsen eczema .

Q6: My child has whitish patches on skin, especially in the folds and sides of the neck. These areas get itchy and when scratched, these become red and ooze out serum which dries in flakes. We have tried using creams but they don't work. Please advise us what to do?

The commonest condition that presents in this manner is called seborrheic dermatitis (SD) also known as cradle cap. It is seen commonly in newborns. It usually gets better by itself but if there is little improvement , then you should consult a nearby Pediatric dermatologist.

Q7- Is it good to apply powder on my baby after bath especially if I stay in Humid weather?

Please avoid putting powder on your baby after bath. It may cause skin rash in some babies. It may trigger nasal allergies and even Asthma in babies at risk.

Q-8 Is it good to apply aloe vera gel or cream on my baby's skin?

There is no research data available regarding the benefit of applying Aloe Vera Gel/Cream on Baby Skin. So it would be advisable to apply it cautiously and if there is no improvement in the condition or baby having rash, it should be discontinued.

Q9- What should I do to improve my baby's skin?

Baby skin is different from adult skin as they have a high proportion of water content within their skin layers. Hence to maintain the hydration levels in these children is important. As these children have low body fat levels, various creams/lotions applied on the skin may take longer time to penetrate into the deeper layers of the skin. In the majority of cases it would be sufficient to apply a mild moisturizing cream twice a day over the entire body after bath.

Q10- My baby is 2months old and I am seeing some dry skin patches over his body. What should I do?

You can start with mild moisturizing creams especially containing ceramides which is similar to the natural moisturizing factor. You can also use mild soap for bathing your baby.

Q11- My baby is 1 month old and I am seeing some rash on his face, what should I do?

In children less than a month , sometimes normal rashes are expected. They may look like pimples or red rashes and are known as erythema toxicum neonatorum and will go on its own. If the rash doesn't look like any of the above and is persistent, you should consult a pediatrician.

When it comes to baby skin care, it’s important to remember that their skin is different from adults. Babies have thinner and more sensitive skin, so you need to be careful about the products you use on them. At our clinic, we offer a range of services specifically designed for babies’ delicate skin. We have a team of experts who can help you choose the right products for your baby and give you tips on how to take care of their skin.

If you want to learn more about baby skin care or book an appointment, please call us at 9620638388 or email us at info@drdivyasharma.com

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