Newborn Dry Skin
As your newborn adjusts to his new environment outside the womb, his skin may appear dry or scaly. Because your baby's skin is very sensitive, finding the right kind of treatment can be difficult, according to Healthcare South. Some moisturizers may contain irritants that can create a rash on baby's skin---however, the right moisturizers can help increase baby's comfort.
In the first weeks after you welcome your baby home, your baby may shed her outer layer of skin, according to Healthcare South. This is because your baby's skin is accustomed to being cushioned by amniotic fluid. As the skin adjusts to drier air, the skin can dry or peel. You may notice this especially on the palms of the hands and soles of the feet. During the first four weeks, refrain from applying moisturizers to the skin because your baby's skin is still very sensitive.
In some instances, your baby's dry skin can be an indicator of another medical condition, such as eczema, according to Baby Center. This skin condition causes red, scaly patches. If your baby appears to be scratching these patches, eczema could be to blame. Icthyosis is another condition that can be mistaken for dry skin. This genetic dry skin condition is characterized by skin redness, scaling and thickening, especially at the palms and soles of the feet. Baby acne also can cause dry skin and red, pimple-like bumps on the skin. If your baby experiences acne-like symptoms, refrain from applying thick lotions because they can exacerbate the skin condition.
If your baby has dry skin, you can take some steps to alleviate it, according to Baby Center. If you bathe your baby longer than 10 minutes at a time, cut back on her bath session. Be sure the water is not too hot and use a soap-free cleanser that is less irritating. Avoid using any products that contain fragrances, which can be irritating. Using a humidifier in the baby's room might also help.
Finding the right treatment to care for baby's dry skin can be difficult because many moisturizers contain harsh perfumes or irritants. Look for hypoallergenic moisturizers or ointments made specifically for babies, according to Baby Center. You can apply these twice daily to your baby's skin to seal in moisture. If your baby's skin still feels dry, opt for a thicker lotion.
See your physician if your baby seems very uncomfortable or if her dry skin is accompanied by yellow discharge, cracking skin or swelling.
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