Q: How do I know if my baby has sensitive skin?
A: If your baby gets recurrent rashes and dry skin, you may need to take extra precautions to keep their delicate skin healthy. Babes with sensitive skin can be irritated by certain soaps, lotions, detergents, frequent bathing and temperature changes. If your baby’s skin reacts to any of these, they likely have sensitive skin.
How Do I Treat Sensitive Skin?
There are many types of skin irritations that your baby may experience. Here are a few of the most common and what you can do to treat them. Make sure to see your child’s pediatrician if symptoms don’t improve or get worse.
• Diaper Rash
If the area around your baby’s bottom is red, they may have a diaper rash. Diaper rashes occur when a diaper is too tight, a wet diaper has been left on for too long or a particular brand of diaper or baby wipe has irritated the skin. Treat it by cleaning the area with water and a washcloth, pat your baby’s bum dry and apply diaper rash cream.
An itchy, red rash that appears on Baby’s face, elbow, chest, arms or behind the knees may be eczema and can be triggered by environmental irritants (such as pollen or cigarette smoke), or allergens in your child’s diet. Current medical opinion recommends daily baths for eczema-prone babies, but make sure to use soap and shampoo at the end so your wee one isn’t sitting in soapy water. You may also want to opt for a gentle cleanser specifically for eczema-prone skin, such as AVEENO® Baby Eczema Care Cream and Wash. Pat dry with a towel and while skin is still damp, apply moisturizer. After the bath, dress your baby in light, loose fabrics.
• Heat Rash
Small, pinkish-red bumps that appear in sweat-prone areas like the neck, diaper area and armpits indicate your baby may have heat rash. Humid weather is the culprit for this skin irritation, but it can happen in winter too if your baby is over-bundled. Cool your baby off by removing his or her clothing, apply a cool, wet cloth to the affected areas and let your baby air-dry. Do not rub your babe’s skin with a towel or use ointments or moisturizing creams, which can make heat rash worse. Make sure to keep your little one cool, and see a doctor if the rash doesn’t get better.
How to Help Prevent Sensitive Skin from Becoming Irritated
Avoiding triggers that set off your baby’s sensitive skin is the key to preventing skin irritations. Here are a few suggestions:
• Use soaps and lotions that are specifically designed for babies with sensitive skin, such as pediatrician-recommended AVEENO® Baby Soothing Relief Creamy Wash.
• Switch to a laundry detergent that is free of perfumes and dyes. Remember that holding your baby against your shirt or wrapping them in blankets and towels that have been washed in a harsh detergent can cause irritation, so you may choose to wash all of your family’s laundry with a gentle detergent.
• If you think that frequent bathing is to blame for your baby’s skin irritations, try cutting down their time in the bath. Their face, hands and bum should be cleaned every day but only give them a full bath two to three times a week.