Caring for an infant comes with many new challenges, one of which is navigating skin conditions and baby skin care! It’s not uncommon for your baby to develop any number of baby skin conditions, but thankfully, most of them are harmless, and can often clear up on their own with a bit of care. Unfortunately, your baby won’t be able to tell you exactly what’s wrong (short of crying, of course!), so it pays to know what to watch out for when it comes to your baby’s delicate skin.
A Few Common Baby Skin Conditions
Here’s a closer look at a few of the most common baby skin conditions that show up:
- Eczema. According to Pop Sugar, eczema often appears around two to six months of age and affects 20 percent of infants. Luckily, this condition can be kept under control by applying eczema creams to the affected area (ask your pediatrician), avoiding soaps and detergents with fragrances, dyes, or additives, and keeping baby from scratching the affected areas. You can accomplish this by keeping your baby’s nails trimmed, and putting your baby in a thin pair of soft mittens at night.
- Diaper rash. This condition is staggeringly common, appearing in more than half of all infants between eight to ten months of age, diaper rash can be prevented by changing dirty diapers promptly and keeping baby’s bottom clean and dry with baby wipes and talcum powder. HealthyChildren.org suggests treating diaper rash with petroleum jelly or zinc oxide, and keeping baby’s bottom exposed to as much air as possible (it’s all about staying dry!).
- Cradle cap. Cradle cap is a buildup of oil and dead skin cells, which can become scaly and sticky, and often appears on a baby’s scalp. WebMD recommends gently rubbing your baby’s scalp with mineral oil or baby oil to loosen the dead skin scales an hour before shampooing. When it comes time to shampoo, the scales can then be gently brushed away with a very soft bristle brush. An organic, natural shampoo, like the two-in-one body wash and shampoo sold by The Honest Company, is best to use. Honest’s shampoo is specially formulated to be ideal for babies with cradle cap, and with eczema, too.
What Are the Causes Of These Baby Skin Conditions?
Unsurprisingly, many skin conditions found in infants are exacerbated, if not sometimes triggered by, allergens and irritants in products like shampoo, laundry detergent, and baby sunscreen. This includes the conditions listed above, but keep in mind that this list is not exhaustive. One reason behind this is the fact that your baby’s skin is more absorbent to toxins. Babies wind up receiving a higher amount of chemicals due to having a greater skin surface area than adults, according to Parenting.com. This creates quite a convincing case for the use of products that are free of dyes, fragrances, or other chemicals on baby’s skin. Keep an eye on labels, and try not to purchase products for your baby that contain too many strange-sounding chemicals and ingredients. It’s a good idea to go for products that have “natural” or “organic” on the label.
Baby Skin Care Tips
Livestrong recommends slowly introducing new products to your baby as part of their skin care regimen. By doing this, you can discover which products irritate your baby’s skin, and what ingredients they may be allergic to. It’s not all about the artificial ingredients; your baby may be allergic to many natural ingredients, as well. However, by using more natural and organic products with fewer chemicals and dyes, you will likely lower the risk of rashes, hives, or other allergic reactions in your baby. You could also lower the risk of some of the common skin problems listed above, as well as contact dermatitis, which is a common irritation often triggered by certain chemicals in soaps and laundry detergents.
Is Organic Better for Baby?
With all this talk of baby’s skin irritation and the clear benefit of natural products without fragrances or other allergens, you might be thinking about how organic products might benefit your baby. While many parents nowadays are opting to feed organic foods to their growing infants, the benefits of organic skin care products are also worth considering. When you think about the products you use every day for you and your baby’s personal care, can you say with certainty that they are made with clean, natural, harmless ingredients? Or do you immediately consider all of the chemicals, dyes, and allergens that are coming into intimate contact with your baby’s (and your) skin? If it’s the latter, you might want to think about adopting a more organic way of life, beyond just what you and your baby are eating.
Healthy Skin, Happy Baby
Overall, careful attention and gentle handling of your baby’s skin will contribute to their overall health and happiness. Be informed about the products you use and about how to recognize and treat potential skin problems that may arise, and don’t be afraid to try organic and natural products to improve baby’s health.