As a new parent, you tend to come across new things every day. An infant requires more attention in the initial days, as they are prone to allergies and infections. Along with love and care, you have to be cautious regarding the overall health of the infant. Even a small pimple can affect and irritate your newborn.
This post talks about 5 skin conditions which are common in infants. Every new parent should have a brief idea about the symptoms, causes and the measures taken in this regard. Newborns are largely affected by skin conditions as their skin is not thick and has fewer pigments.
The sensitive skin takes time to adapt to a different environment. The good news is, all these allergens are harmless and mostly regress on their own. Here are the most common infant skin conditions you should know:
The most common form of skin condition is due to the ‘Diaper rashes’. Even after taking utmost care of your little one, your baby will get these rashes over some point of time. As per a study, around 10 million newborn babies in India suffer from this skin condition. The covered part of the skin changes to red. Majorly, diaper or nappy rashes can be due to:
- wearing a soiled or wet diaper for too long
- yeast infection
- bacterial infections
- inferior quality of a diaper
Once you have noticed the rashes, clean the baby’s skin using a mild cleanser. Keep checking the diapers and remove it as soon as it gets dirty or wet. It’s advisable to ensure that the affected skin area is dry and clean before using a fresh diaper. Also, allow the baby to roam around freely as fresh air can help in soothing the skin.
Eczema is skin condition which occurs mostly in infants. The skin becomes itchy, red, and the skin cracks. These rashes usually begin on the hand, face or feet. Often infants whose parents have allergy-related diseases like asthma are more prone to eczema.
Atopic eczema is the most common form which mainly affects among babies. For infants, if the rashes are on the entire body, it is definitely due to the soap.
Tight fitting clothes can be a reason for the rashes on the underarms. Multiple anti-fungal creams and ointments are available in the market, which can readily cure the condition. The treatment depends on the severity of the symptoms. Below are few of the homely ways of treating it:
- avoid frequent showers
- apply a moisturizer which is mild and gentle
- don’t allow the skin to become dry or itchy
- use loose clothes to dress up your baby
- However, if it persists, it best to consult your doctor.
These red pimples are a common among the toddlers. It pops up around 2-3 weeks of age and can last up to 4-6 months. Across the globe, around 40% of the newborn suffer this acne within the initial few weeks. The bumped up pimples are a result of the maternal hormones which continue to circulate in baby’s bloodstream. These hormones prompt baby’s oil glands which causes pimples. These red bumps are temporary in nature; therefore, no need of any medical treatment.
You can clean the face with fresh water and dry it by gently patting a clean soft towel. These tiny pimples don’t create much of a trouble for the baby, however don’t squeeze or pick up the pimples. This can leave scars on the face for a longer period. In addition, use of soap or lotion is not advisable, especially for the infants.
In newborn babies, the sweat glands are not developed and get blocked. This results in trapping the sweat beneath the skin, which leads to rashes and little red spots on the skin. This is also popular with the names of sweat rashes, prickly heat or Miliaria.
Typically, it occurs on the neck and shoulders, and on skin folds. It’s an indication that the body is warmer than usual. Consult a specialist if your child has a fever and the rashes are more than 5 days. The easiest way to fight heat rashes is to dress your baby in light cotton clothing.
A loosely fitted cloth helps in circulating air which acts as a natural remedy for rashes. The idea is to minimize the skin temperature. Tepid baths are useful in these conditions. Use of talcum powder can be risky as they can block the sweat glands in the body. In addition, infants might inhale the talcum particles, which can irritate them.
This form of rash is prevalent in the folds of skin in an infant. Neck, armpits and diaper areas are prone to these rashes. Infants are more susceptible because of higher fat content and short neck size. Moisture and dampness on the child’s body are the causes of the rashes. Symptoms of Intertrigo can be:
- reddish colored rashes
- cracked skin
- itchy skin
To cure these rashes, you have to be extra vigilant as they might be painful to the babies. You need to clean the area with soft hands. Sorbolene creams can be effective as they contain glycerine, purified water and parafin. Using the cod-liver oil can also be helpful to cure the rashes. Always remember to pat the area rather than rubbing it.
It’s fine if you give some nappy-free time to your baby so that the skin gets fresh air and becomes completely dry. However, if still the rashes are prominent, visit your doctor at the earliest.
2 key points which can ensure a good skin life:
- shower your baby using a mild soap in Lukewarm water.
- after a shower, use a soft towel to dry up the baby, especially the cubby areas.
- use a mild moisturizer on the skin.
It’s clear that babies develop a myriad of skin conditions in the initial period of their life. However, the majority of them retire by themselves, so as a parent you need to be calm and patient. As the skin is fragile and thin, taking care of the skin becomes a priority, even in perfect health conditions.