by Adeline Dorcas on  December 6, 2018 at 5:52 PM Child Health News
Simple 6 Ways to Treat Dry, Itchy Skin in Babies
Baby's skin is really different from that of adult skin. It is not only softer and smoother, but also delicate and more sensitive. Even slight changes in the weather and humidity can cause dry and itchy skin in babies.

Cold weather affects the skin even further by causing rashes, redness, and itching.

Most rashes are harmless and go away on their own. However, in some situations, the skin condition can become chronic and difficult to manage. Atopic dermatitis also called atopic eczema, is one such skin condition that affects one in five children globally.

Atopic dermatitis is long-lasting (chronic) and tends to flare periodically. Often, it appears in infants in the first year of birth and progresses till five years of age and, at times, even beyond. It leads to inflamed and itchy skin, resulting in patches of red and dry skin. The condition may worsen during colder months. Often, as the child enters teenage, the skin condition persists, affecting daily activities. This leads to a lack of self-confidence, thus impacting the child's overall personality development.

Atopic dermatitis can lead to skin infections, as the dry, inflamed skin results in cracks, causing microbes and irritants to enter the skin. Dryness, itching, cracks, and redness are the common symptoms of atopic dermatitis, which can occur anywhere on the body.

A child whose family member has a history of asthma or allergies is more likely to develop atopic dermatitis. There is a 40-50 percent probability of a child developing atopic dermatitis if one of her parents also suffered from the condition. This figure rises to 50-80 percent when both the parents suffered from the skin condition.

Dr. Rajesh Kumawat, Head-Medical Services & Clinical Development, The Himalaya Drug Company, shares a few tips to combat atopic dermatitis in babies:

  • Avoid Harsh Soaps: Use baby washes containing herbal actives, specially formulated for baby's delicate skin. Natural ingredients like Indian aloe (aloe vera), almond oil, milk, and olive oil work together to nourish and maintain the moisture balance of baby's skin.
  • Avoid Hot Baths, Long Showers: Maintain the right water temperature for the baby's bath. Water should be lukewarm, as hot water can make the skin dry. Baby should be bathed for not more than 10 to 15 minutes. Lightly pat the skin with a towel to remove excess water, and avoid drying the skin completely.
  • Keep Fingernails Short: Keep your child's fingernails short and cover itchy areas with a cloth or dressing to prevent scratching that can cause skin irritation and infection.
  • Moisturise the Skin: Immediately apply a gentle and hydrating lotion or cream to moisturize baby's skin immediately after a bath. A good moisturizing agent usually consists of natural ingredients such as coconut, kokum, rice, and aloe vera, among others. Moisturizing helps hydrate the skin and relieve skin irritation.
  • Put Comfortable Dresses: Loose cotton clothing helps keep the baby comfortable, whereas woolen and synthetic fibers may keep baby too warm and worsen the skin condition. Avoid covering the baby in thick blankets/clothes that can cause irritation to sensitive skin.
  • Avoid Harsh Chemical Products: Choose products that are free from mineral oils, parabens, fragrances, and artificial colors. Natural ingredients like kokum and aloe vera are known for their hydrating and moisturizing properties. Rice bran extract provides necessary skin components called ceramides, which are essential for maintaining skin barrier function and retaining skin moisture. Coconut has anti-inflammatory properties that help reduce redness and soothe the skin.
Understanding the needs of a baby's skin is essential for healthy development, both physical and mental. Any ailment of the skin can affect baby's overall well-being.

Source: IANS

Most Popular on Medindia