Common Newborn Skin Conditions and How to Handle Them

The arrival of your new baby is the single most life-changing event that you will ever experience. Bringing your new baby home from the hospital and settling into life as a family is an exciting time, but you may feel a little apprehensive about what to expect once your newborn is at home.  But before you know it, you will struggle to imagine life without your little one in it.

Building your knowledge of how life will be once your baby is here can be helpful. Having some knowledge about what to expect will help you to feel more confident and prepared for your new life as a parent. Familiarizing yourself with some of the common skin conditions that newborn babies experience and how to deal with them can come in handy. Here are some common baby skin conditions and how to handle them:

Diaper Rash

If your baby develops diaper rash, you are not alone, as this is a common condition. Diaper rash appears on your baby’s bottom and can range from being mild to severe. The rash is usually red in appearance, and it may also have pimples on it. In most cases, diaper rash will clear up within a few days if you begin treatment right away.

You can help to prevent your baby from developing diaper rash by changing their diaper frequently. Leaving your newborn in a wet or soiled nappy can cause diaper rash to develop and worsen an existing case of diaper rash. As well as changing diapers regularly, you can also help to prevent diaper rash by giving your baby some diaper-free time. This allows the skin to breathe and fresh air to reach it.

Sometimes, diaper rash can be caused by irritants in baby wipes, baby bubble baths, and lotions. As your baby’s newborn skin is so delicate, it can become irritated, which could cause a rash to develop.

Applying a thin layer of barrier cream to your baby’s bottom when you change them can help to guard against diaper rash as the cream forms a protective layer on the skin.

If you are unsure whether the rash is caused by diaper rash or if the rash shows signs of becoming infected or fails to heal, you should seek medical advice.

Baby Dandruff And Cradle Cap

When your little one is here, you may notice that they have some dry, flaky skin on their scalp. This is known as baby dandruff and is particularly common in new babies as their skin is so delicate. Baby dandruff is not something to be too concerned about, but it is better to get it treated to get it under control and prevent it from worsening.

Cradle cap is another common condition in babies and young children and differs from newborn dandruff. Cradle cap can look unpleasant and will appear as scaly, yellowish colored patches on your child’s scalp. Although it may be tempting to pick these flakes from your baby’s scalp, doing so can leave them with sores that could become infected. Picking at the cradle cap to remove it may also cause your baby’s hair to come away with the flakes.

To help prevent and treat baby dandruff and cradle cap, it is essential to use a shampoo that is specially-formulated for babies and free from harsh chemicals that could exacerbate the condition and dry out your baby’s scalp. Using the right products should help both of these conditions to clear up fast.

Dry Skin

Dry skin is another common newborn skin condition. Seeing your newborn with peeling skin may come as a shock, especially as people often refer to skin as being ‘baby soft.’ The peeling that you see on your newborn’s skin is often a result of them having been in the womb for 40 weeks surrounded by amniotic fluid. After birth, your baby is likely to have a coating of vernix on their skin, which is a white, gunky substance that is naturally absorbed back into the skin if left. Over the coming days, your baby’s skin has to adjust. After all those months of being cozy inside of you, your baby is suddenly exposed to the air for the very first time, and their skin may peel. This peeling skin may go of its own accord, but there are some things that you can do to help with this.

Treating your baby’s skin with care is essential to keep it healthy. Your newborn’s skin is especially delicate, so it is vital to use suitable products that will not damage the skin. Chemicals in some bubble baths, shampoos, and baby wipes can cause your baby’s skin to become dry and irritated, so these need to be avoided. As well as choosing products that are kind to your baby’s skin, you also need to handle it with care. Bathing your baby more than once each day can cause their skin to become dry, and the water you use at bath time should be lukewarm to prevent the heat of the water from drying their skin out further. Using a bath thermometer is the best way to make sure that the bathwater is the perfect temperature for your baby. Try to avoid keeping your baby in the bath for too long, as this can dry out their skin. Once baby is out of the bath, pat them dry using a soft towel rather than rubbing at their skin. You will also need to make sure that you dry their skin creases to prevent them from becoming sore and breeding bacteria.

Dressing your baby in soft, breathable clothing can also help their skin. Don’t forget to use a washing detergent and fabric softener that is free from potential irritants, as these too could aggravate your baby’s delicate skin.

Final Thoughts

If you are concerned about a rash or have other concerns about your baby’s skin, you should get it checked by a medical professional who will be able to advise you on the best treatment.

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