Skin care tips for Newborn Babies

Published April 19, 2013 by teacher dahl

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Expect Bumps, Spots, and Rashes

There’s nothing quite like the soft, delicate skin of a baby. And nothing like a cranky infant irritated by diaper rash, cradle cap, or another skin condition. While your baby is perfect, your baby’s skin may not be. Many babies are prone to skin irritation in the first few months after birth. Here’s how to spot and treat common baby skin problems.

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Newborns Are Prone to Rashes

The good news about your newborn’s rashes: Most cause no harm and go away on their own. While caring for baby’s skin may seem complex, all you really need to know are three simple things: Which conditions can you treat at home? Which need medical treatment?

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Excess Oil Causes Cradle Cap

Cradle cap can show up during baby’s first or second month, and usually clears up within the first year. Also called seborrheic dermatitis, cradle cap is caused by excess oil and shows up as a scaly, waxy, red rash on the scalp, eyebrows, eyelids, the sides of the nose, or behind the ears. Your pediatrician will recommend the best treatment for cradle cap, which may include a special shampoo, baby oil, or certain creams and lotions.

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Baby’s Dry Skin

You probably shouldn’t worry if your newborn has peeling, dry skin – it often happens if your baby is born a little late. The underlying skin is perfectly healthy, soft, and moist. If your infant’s dry skin persists, talk to your baby’s pediatrician.

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Yellow Skin Can Mean Jaundice

Usually occurring two or three days after birth, jaundice is a yellow coloration that affects baby’s skin and eyes. It’s common in premature infants. Caused by too much bilirubin (a breakdown product of red blood cells), the condition usually disappears by the time baby is 1 or 2 weeks old. Treatment for jaundice may include more frequent feedings or, for more severe cases, light therapy (phototherapy).

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Pimples & Whiteheads

Baby acne gets its start in the womb, where baby is exposed to mom’s hormones. Those hormones boost oil production, clogging baby’s oil glands. Pimples on baby’s nose and cheeks usually clear up by themselves in a few weeks. So you don’t need to treat baby acne or use lotion.

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Avoiding Diaper Rash

If baby has red skin around the diaper area, you’re dealing with diaper rash. Most diaper rashes occur because of skin irritation due to diapers that are too tight; wet diapers left on for too long; or a particular brand of detergent, diapers, or baby wipes. Avoid it by keeping the diaper area open to the air as long as possible, changing your baby’s diaper as soon as it’s wet, washing with a warm cloth, and applying zinc oxide cream.

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Baby Birthmarks

Lots of babies have birthmarks — more than one in ten as a matter of fact. Birthmarks, areas of skin discoloration, are not inherited. They may be there when your baby is born, or they might show up a few months later. Generally birthmarks are nothing to worry about and need no treatment. But if your baby’s birthmark worries you, talk to your pediatrician.

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Atopic Dermatitis or Eczema

Eczema is an itchy, red rash that occurs in response to a trigger. It is common in children who have a family history of asthma, allergies, or atopic dermatitis. Eczema may occur on baby’s face as a weepy rash. Over time it becomes thick, dry, and scaly. You may also see eczema on the elbow, chest, arms, or behind the knees. To treat it, identify and avoid any triggers. Use gentle soaps and detergents and apply moderate amounts of moisturizers.

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Prickly Heat Causes Irritated Skin

Showing up as small pinkish-red bumps, prickly heat usually appears on the parts of your baby’s body that are prone to sweating, like the neck, diaper area, armpits, and skin folds. A cool, dry environment and loose-fitting clothes are all you need to treat prickly heat rash — which can even be brought on in winter when baby is over-bundled. Try dressing baby in layers that you can remove when things heat up.

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Infant Skin Doesn’t Need Powdering

Babies can inhale the very fine grains of talcum powder, which could cause lung problems. So it’s best to avoid using talcum powder on your infant. A corn starch-based powder is considered safer. But yeast, which can cause diaper rash, feeds on corn starch. So to protect baby skin, you’re better off skipping the powder.

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 Infant Sunburn

The sun may feel great, but it could be exposing your baby’s skin to the risk of damaging sunburn. Avoid baby skin problems by protecting from sunburn: keep your infant out of direct sunlight during the first six months of life. Later, use a strong baby sunscreen, hats, and umbrellas. For mild infant sunburn apply a cool cloth to baby’s skin for 10-15 minutes a few times daily. For more severe sunburn, call your child’s pediatrician.

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 Baby Sunscreen and More

Apply sunscreen to the areas of baby’s skin that can’t be covered by clothes. You can also use zinc oxide on baby’s nose, ears, and lips. Cover the rest of your baby’s skin in clothes and a wide-brimmed hat. Sunglasses protect children’s eyes from harmful rays.

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Baby Skin Care Products

Shopping for baby skin care products? Less is more. Look for items without dyes, fragrance, phthalates and parabens — all of which could cause skin irritation. When in doubt, talk to your pediatrician to see if a product is appropriate for newborn skin.

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Avoiding Skin Problems at Bath Time

Remember, newborn skin is soft and sensitive. Keep baby’s skin hydrated by bathing in warm water for only three to five minutes. Apply a baby lotion or moisturizer immediately after bath while skin is still wet, and then pat dry instead of rubbing.

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Baby Skin Care Products

Shopping for baby skin care products? Less is more. Look for items without dyes, fragrance, phthalates and parabens — all of which could cause skin irritation. When in doubt, talk to your pediatrician to see if a product is appropriate for newborn skin.

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Baby Massage

If rashes or other skin conditions are making your baby irritable, try baby massage. Gently stroking and massaging baby’s skin can not only help boost relaxation, but it may also lead to better sleep and reduce or stop crying, according to a recent study.

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When to Call the Pediatrician

Most baby skin rashes and problems aren’t serious, but a few may be signs of infection — and need close attention. If baby’s skin has small, red-purplish dots, if there are yellow fluid-filled bumps (pustules), or if baby has a fever or lethargy, call your pediatrician for medical treatment right away.

Source: Web MD

2 comments on “Skin care tips for Newborn Babies

  • If the color of the skin appears yellow at any time after birth, a pediatrician has to be consulted soon, to assess whether the jaundice is to be treated or to be left alone.

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