Common Baby Skin Conditions and Skin Care
- Posted on: Sep 2 2021
September is Baby Safety Month. At Asarch Dermatology, we are focusing on common types of baby skin conditions and offering skin care tips that can help you keep your baby’s skin healthy.
Common Baby Skin Conditions
It’s not uncommon for babies to develop rashes and other skin conditions. Although many types of baby skin conditions can develop quickly and cause concern for you as a parent. Fortunately, most of them are harmless and clear up on their own. Here’s a look at the most common types of baby skin conditions, how they’re treated, and when to contact a doctor.
Cradle cap, also called seborrheic dermatitis, is the baby form of dandruff. This harmless skin condition causes thick, flaky, white, or yellow scales on a baby’s scalp. It commonly occurs during the first six months of a baby’s life.
Although cradle cap usually clears up on its own within a few months, you can try gently washing your baby’s scalp with mild shampoo. Applying olive oil or petroleum jelly to your baby’s scalp can also help loosen some of the scales. Your pediatrician may prescribe an anti-fungal shampoo or cream if the scales don’t improve or worsen over time.
Diaper rash is one of the most common baby skin problems. Babies with diaper rash have inflamed patches of red skin or bumps on their bottoms or genital areas, and the skin may appear scaly or tender. Skin irritation from prolonged exposure to urine or stool is a common cause of diaper rash, but it can also be caused by a fungal infection, chafing or rubbing from diapers that are too tight, harsh soaps, or sweat.
Changing soiled diapers promptly and keeping your baby’s skin as clean and dry as possible are the best ways to both treat and prevent diaper rash. To soothe and protect your baby’s irritated skin, you can apply petroleum jelly or creams and ointments with zinc oxide. Call your pediatrician if the rash doesn’t improve in a few days, if the rash worsens, or if your baby shows signs of infection, such as developing a fever.
Affecting most babies in the first few days after birth, erythema toxicum is one of the most common newborn baby skin conditions diagnosed by pediatricians. If your baby has this skin condition, you’ll notice a blotchy red rash that contains small, white or yellow papules on the thighs, upper arms, torso, or face. The rash is slightly raised from the skin and has ill-defined borders.
Erythema toxicum is a harmless skin condition that resolves on its own without treatment within a few weeks.
Skin Care Tips for Babies
Less is always more when it comes to the products you use on your baby’s skin. To reduce the risk of your baby developing baby skin problems, follow these expert tips from our dermatologists:
Your baby doesn’t need a bath every day; aim for a bath two to three times a week to avoid stripping baby’s skin of its natural oils. Avoid using soap since it can dry out your baby’s skin; use a mild, unscented baby wash instead and rinse the soap from the baby’s skin right away.
Baby’s skin loses moisture faster than adult skin, so it’s important to moisturize your baby’s skin daily. To strengthen baby’s skin barrier function, try applying a thicker cream or ointment.
Read Product Labels
Only use hypo-allergenic products that are fragrance-free. Products containing perfumes or dyes can irritate your baby’s delicate skin and may lead to the development of baby skin conditions. Read the ingredients list carefully on all baby skin care products, avoiding these ingredients that can harm baby’s skin: parabens, triclosan, oxybenzone, alcohol, mineral oil, and phthalates.
Babies under six months old should be kept out of direct sunlight as much as possible. Whenever you take your baby outdoors, make sure that your baby is covered with clothing, a hat, or stroller cover. If you can’t avoid sun exposure, choose a sunscreen containing titanium dioxide and/or zinc oxide and ensure that its hypo-allergenic and free from any fragrances.
If you have any concerns about a rash on your baby’s skin, or are worried about newborn baby skin conditions, Baby Safety Month is the perfect time to make an appointment at Asarch Dermatology. Our dermatologists are experienced in diagnosing baby skin conditions and can provide the reassurance you need when it comes to the health of your baby’s skin. Contact us today to make your appointment.