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December 2023
Caring for a New-born’s Skin
By - Dr. Sejal Saheta
Happy Skin = Happy Baby How to care for a new-born’s skin.

The thought of a new born brings to the front some of the most profound memories in my life and is always accompanied by an unwitting smile.

I think these emotions are best captured by the below quote:

“Making the decision to have a child is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body.” – Elizabeth Stone

With such strong emotions in play, it becomes very difficult for a parent to deal with skin-related problems if and when they occur in babies. This makes it even more imperative that a new-born’s skin is well attended to, in order to avoid absolutely any complications.

So what is different about a new-born’s skin?

A new-born’s skin as compared to an adult’s skin has a very thin upper layer. Also, a baby’s skin is more porous. The water retention mechanism and the melanin in the skin are also not fully developed.

So what should I remember, when I care for my baby?

  1. A new-born’s skin tends to lose more water than an adult’s skin and hence is often more dry. Hence it is advisable to use a thick moisturizing lotion at least twice a day. It will not only provide the additional needed hydration to the skin but also act as a barrier for preventing the escape of the natural moisture from the skin.
  2. Avoid using oil and giving oil massages on a baby’s skin. Massages are not medically proven to strengthen the bones of a baby but the oil used can surely block the pores of the skin, making it the perfect environment for bacteria to proliferate leading to all types of skin irritation. If you can’t avoid a massage, use a moisturizer instead of oil and be very gentle.
  3. The worst enemy of dry skin is powder. Please do not use powder on the baby. Even if you want to keep your baby dry in his / her diaper use a diaper cream from a reputed pharmaceutical company.
  4. Make sure that the baby does not remain in a wet diaper for long. Ensure that the diaper rash cream used has zinc oxide as content in it. Speak to a dermatologist in case there are recurrent rashes.
  5. Avoid any ‘organic’ skincare products and home remedies on babies. A baby’s skin is much more porous and hence the absorption rates are also different. What may be suitable for you as an adult may not be safe or suitable for a baby.
  6. Use cotton clothes and ensure that you cut away any labels on the inside of clothes so that it does not cause constant irritation leading to eczema.
  7. The melanin levels in a baby’s skin are also low and hence it is extremely important to protect them from UV rays. It is best to avoid direct sunlight on a baby’s skin. But if you must stay out for an extended period of time, use a dermatologist-recommended skin cream for the baby that gives him or her sun protection.
  8. Long baths and showers for a baby are something you should avoid at all costs. These tend to speed up the drying of the baby’s skin.

So when should I and when should I not worry about that funny thing on my baby’s skin?

Some skin rashes can happen in a baby which is transient in nature.

  • These can occur due to the presence of maternal hormones in the baby. Examples of these ate neonatal acne and milia. But there are nothing to be worried about.
  • There are other types of spots and marks like bluish Mongolian spots which occur in a baby because of the lower amount of melanocytes, but these are also transient in nature.

There are also other skin conditions like birthmarks or hemangioma which will persist but are nothing to be worried about.

The only good piece of advice I can give is that when in doubt see your dermatologist. Especially if there is any rash that is either irritating the baby or growing in size and quantity.

I want to leave you with a single thought that as parents of a newborn we are all very anxious. But this anxiousness does not help the baby. The only way to deal with the issue if it occurs is to see a doctor. Believe me, medical science has advanced enough to deal with most things that life can throw at you. Most of all enjoy your newborn, these will be the moments that you will treasure for your life.

Additional Reading:

You can read more about skin conditions in new-borns here 

You can also read more about skin conditions in children here

and here

Lastly, if you are worried about hair conditions in children, you can read more here

and here

Disclaimer:

The objective of this article is to educate the reader and help them make wiser choices under the guidance of a trained dermatologist. It is not meant to be used by patients for self-diagnosis or for avoiding proper medical treatment. The images used in the above blog are only for visual representation purposes. Actual procedures and results may vary from patient to patient.

About Dr. Sejal Saheta and InUrSkn:

Built on more than a decade of experience of Dr. Sejal Saheta, we are an honest and affordable skin and hair care clinic in Powai, Mumbai. Our goal is to make each patient comfortable and happy with their appearance with the least amount of intervention.

Dr. Sejal Saheta has dual degrees of MD and DNB in dermatology and venereology and has worked alongside some of the senior-most doctors at the largest hospitals in Mumbai.

Located in Powai, InUrSkn is the largest skin and hair clinic in the central suburbs of Mumbai and offers the latest technology in the safety of world-class infrastructure.

We are happy to be a part of your journey to reach your health goals. If you think we have been able to help you, please do review us:

On Practo: http://prac.to/vkpj

On Google: https://goo.gl/zHfACo

How can Dr. Sejal and InUrSkn help?

No matter what your skin and hair needs, Dr Sejal Saheta ensures personal attention to each patient and creates customized and scientifically-backed treatment plans for each patient. Through her years of experience and use of technology at her clinic (InUrSkn – Skin and Hair Clinic) located in Powai, Mumbai, she has been able to consistently deliver great results in the field of dermatology and trichology to thousands of patients. All of the above is done with the best-in-class machines within the comfort and safety of world-class infrastructure.

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