Why Do Babies Have Dry Skin?
Many babies who are born after 40 weeks will experience dry, flaking skin. It is completely normal and should subside. However, sometimes baby dry skin conditions can linger and they could be more than the typical cradle cap. Lets take a look at some of the possibilities below.
You should only bathe your baby twice a week with mild cleansers. Too much bathing and use of harsh cleansers can cause your babys skin to become dry and irritated. Use mild cleansers that are free of harmful toxins and allergens. Avoid products that contain: sulfates, fragrances, dyes, parabens, beeswax, lanolin and oatmeal based products due to their gluten component.
Remember that soap removes the natural oils from your skin, which makes it harder for your babys skin to keep moisture in. Keep bath times between 5-10 minutes and bathe your baby in lukewarm water. Avoid bubble baths, as they are surfactants which can dry out the skin. Believe it or not, babies dont really need to be bathed with soap. Maybe use it to wash only soiled areas.
Using the Wrong Products
There are several products available for new parents to use. However, many of them contain harmful chemicals and skin irritants. In addition to the allergens listed above, avoid products that are formulated with: formaldehyde releasing preservatives, PEGs, acrylates, silicone, dimethicone, potassium sorbate, BPA & phthalates, phenoxyethanol, gluten, soy and peanut. Peanut allergies can be extremely severe and even fatal.
If you notice your baby begins to develop rash like symptoms, it is likely due to using a product that contains a known allergen or skin irritant. Read labels on soaps, laundry detergents, diaper creams, baby wipes, diapers and moisturizing products carefully.
Dressing your baby in the wrong fabrics can irritate the skin. Avoid irritating fibers such as wool or synthetic. Instead, dress your baby in soothing fabrics including cotton, linen and silk. Avoid restrictive clothing. Loose clothing allows for the skin to breathe. Use a free and clear detergent to launder your infants clothing.
Weather can cause a baby to have dry skin. Especially hot, desert climates or extreme cold climates. Invest in a humidifier to keep your homes air ideal for your new bundle of joy. Keep the humidity between 40-50% with an indoor temperature of between 68 and 75 degrees, for optimal air quality.
If you have taken these precautions and still cant clear up your babys dry skin, it could be baby eczema. In fact, most people who have been diagnosed with eczema developed it within their first five years of life. It is very common in the first year.
The best way to treat baby eczema is by adhering to the guidelines outlined above and by implementing a proper moisturizing routine. As with all products, the best skin care products for babies will be free of the allergens listed above. In addition, skin barrier optimization should be your main focus. Choose skin care that contains ceramides, particularly ceramide 3 for optimizing results. Utilize heavy creams and ointments rather than lotion, for desired moisture lock.
If you suspect your baby may be experiencing symptoms of eczema, speak with a dermatologist about the best treatment options for your specific case.