Understanding Babyís Skin
What is baby acne?
At times babies are born with severe
acne. Other babies may develop severe acne in the first few weeks of their
birth. Why does this happen? The reason for this is fairly simple. During
pregnancy, especially during the last trimester, the mother is undergoing
tremendous hormonal changes and is also producing an excessive amount of
hormones. These hormones often get passed on to the baby through the placenta.
In addition to the hormones, calcium and iron also get passed on to the
baby in the last trimester, and a combination of all these factors may
result in the baby developing a rash or acne.
Can it be prevented?
Mothers are often distraught to see
their newbornís skin so spotted. However, it is important to remember that
within a few months, once the hormones have metabolised, your babyís skin
will settle down and become smooth, blemish-free and beautiful. There is
nothing you can do to prevent the outburst of pimples, and scrubbing your
babyís skin again and again with a harsh soap will not help. Use a mild
baby soap and donít pay much attention to the acne, even if it appears
to worsen after a couple of weeks. Let nature take its course. The acne
will disappear after a few months. Be patient.
At times your infant may develop
crusty patches on his scalp. This is known as cradle cap, and is caused
due to overactive sebaceous (oil-producing) glands on the scalp. Wash your
childís hair regularly with baby shampoo, and bush his hair with a baby
brush. The cradle cap should disappear before long. You could also apply
baby oil to your infantís scalp, but donít leave it on for long. Wash off
baby oil after around 15 minutes.
Diaper rash is another common form
of skin irritation. As the name suggests, diaper rash occurs in the diaper
area and is mostly due to irritation caused by stool and urine. Another
reason for diaper rash could also be that your baby is allergic to either
the diaper, or to the detergent used to wash a cloth diaper. If your baby
develops a diaper rash, the best treatment would be to keep the area clean
and dry. Let your child not wear a diaper at home, and keep his buttocks
exposed to the air as much as possible. Power the area frequently. Wash
your babyís buttocks with warm water after every bowel movement, and allow
the area to air-dry. Avoid wiping the area dry with a cloth, as this may
irritate broken skin further. Apply a soothing cream to the area.
Babies are also especially prone to developing heat rash, as their perspiration glands are not sufficiently developed to help them balance their inner body temperature. As a result, the excessive heat in their bodies causes them to break out in heat rash. To avoid this, make sure your infant is kept in well-ventilated, airy surroundings, and that he is not smothered with clothing that may keep him too warm. Protect your infant from exposure to harmful ultraviolet radiation. This will not only reduce the risk of him developing heat rash, but will also reduce the risk of him develop skin cancer at a later age. So before sending your baby out in the sun, make sure you apply a sunscreen to his skin. Avoid sending him out in the peak afternoon, when the sun is at its strongest.
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