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How to Care for Dry Flaky Skin in Newborns

How to Care for Dry Flaky Skin in Newborns How to Care for Dry Flaky Skin in Newborns


As a baby develops in the womb, a waxy substance known as vernix coats his skin. Secreted by the baby’s oil glands, vernix protects against amniotic fluid. A baby born prematurely or within 40 weeks still has remnants of vernix, which will eventually absorb into his skin. A newborn that comes into the world after 40 weeks often has no trace of vernix, because it has already absorbed into his skin while in the womb. As a result, dryness and flaking can occur, but it's common and not a serious condition. Common hygiene routines will soothe your baby's skin.

Step 1

Set a baby bathtub on a sturdy surface and fill it with 2 to 3-inches of warm water. Place your newborn in the tub and bathe him with a mild baby wash. Bathe your baby in this manner two to three times per week to help remove dry skin flakes.

Step 2

Pat your newborn’s skin with a soft towel after bathing to remove excess water. Massage your newborn’s skin after drying, using a moisturizing lotion or cream specifically manufactured for use on babies.

Step 3

Apply a baby moisturizer to your newborn’s skin in between baths. Additional moisturizing every day will help keep your newborn’s skin hydrated and relieve flaking, especially in the diaper area, which tends to stay damp.

Step 4

Run a humidifier if your home is dry. Ideal humidity levels in your home should range between 35 and 40-percent. A humidifier will release moisture into the air and help to relieve your newborn’s dry, flaky skin.

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