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Skin Care for Babies
Baby skin care is more about preventing diaper rash than preventing acne, but nonetheless, it's an important topic. People don't often think about the need to care for a baby's skin, perhaps because it's so perfect. Few things feel more soft and supple. Proper baby skin care can mean the difference between a happy baby and one that's constantly complaining.
Besides diaper and heat rash, babies can develop a condition called 'cradle cap'. Baby skin dries easily and it can even sunburn because melanin production is low. And because of the surge in hormones at the time of birth, babies can break out in acne, although baby skin is far less oily than an adult's.
General Guidelines and Tips for Baby Skin Care
Start life off right by protecting your baby from ultraviolet exposure. Keep infants out of direct sunlight during the first few months. If you do go outside, be sure to cover the baby's skin with protective clothing, a hat and baby sunglasses. Turn that into a habit and teach your child the importance of doing so as he or she grows older. Sunscreen products shouldn't be applied until the baby is 6 months old, but after that, they're absolutely necessary. Take care when riding in cars and when out for a stroll.
As for baby skin care, it won't be hard to find products formulated especially for babies. Purchase these and use as directed. Adult skin care products are not recommended for babies. They're far too harsh. You may have to switch laundry detergents if you find the one you're using is irritating your baby's skin.
Always change diapers as soon as possible. Urine and feces contain bacteria and must be washed away with warm water or baby wipes, otherwise infections can develop. Make sure wipes don't contain alcohol which can dry out a baby's skin. Remember to clean in the folds and also to dry this area gently but thoroughly. Diaper rash is very uncomfortable so apply an ointment or cream formulated especially for this common baby skin problem.
Moisturizing regularly with lotions and creams formulated for infants helps retain moisture. Excessive bathing isn't necessary and in fact can sap a baby's skin of moisture. Never use hot water for bathing. Like adults, babies prefer warm water. If your baby has cradle cap which resembles scaly dirty-looking skin, gently scrub top of head with a soft brush. If cradle cap doesn't go away, have the baby's physician take a look. Wind and cold can also cause dry skin so protect your baby when outside. If the air in your home is dry, consider getting a humidifier to add moisture.
Because a baby's skin doesn't yet perspire properly, babies aren't efficient at controlling their body temperatures. Sometimes, heat rashes can develop. Be sure to dress babies in comfortable, loose-fitting clothing that's appropriate for the temperature to avoid these rashes that resemble red patches or pinkish-red bumps.
Good habits begin early and it's never too soon to develop a proper baby skin care routine!
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Page Updated 5:22 PM Thursday 3/18/2015