Guest Post by Zoe Dobson
As a mom of three, one of the more frustrating things is dealing with skin issues in my kids.
Itchy and dry skin in babies can sometimes be a mystery and leave you trying a ton of things to try to help give your baby relief.
Today’s guest post by Zoe Dobson is all about different skin issues and how to detect, treat and prevent them!
Itchy & Dry Skin in Babies: How to Detect, Treat and Prevent
As a parent, seeing your baby struggle with unknown pain or discomfort can be very difficult. At that age, children are unable to communicate what they feel, which can make diagnosis and treatment a guessing game.
Itchy and dry skin in babies can be caused by a wide range of irritations, allergies, and even one-off occurrences.
Skin acts as a protective layer for us all including babies and any irritation to that protective layer opens them up to further infection, sickness, and reactions.
Often, babies will repeatedly scratch the uncomfortable area because they are confused by the pain but it is important to stop them from doing so as much as possible.
One trick is to ensure their fingernails are always kept short to avoid breaking the skin, causing bleeding and scabs.
The internet can be a helpful tool but as a concerned parent, it can also cause unnecessary scares and concerns. As a result, it is always recommended to contact your family doctor to understand the best treatment plans for your baby.
That being said, sometimes antibiotics and medications are not needed to treat severe itching.
Causes, Symptoms, And Remedies To Itching
Here are a list of potential causes for your baby’s itchy skin and the best natural treatment plans to consider:
Ideally, baby’s skin should be hydrated at all times.
The skin has moisture and natural oils that prevent it from going dry, but a child’s skin can easily lose this moisture because it’s so thin and soft.
The loss is caused by various factors such as exposure to heat and air conditioning systems.
Furthermore, chemicals such as chlorine, which is added to swimming pools can wash off the natural oils thus leaving the skin dry. If you notice white or red patches on your child’s skin it is possible they may just need a little lotion.
Bathe the child: Bathing keeps the skin hydrated. It also washes off irritants that may be causing the itching. The best way to do it is by bathing the child in a mixture of warm water and natural oils such as sunflower and coconut oils. Bathe the child for 10-15 minutes. After that, don’t dry the skin completely. Also, take care not to rub the skin using the towel.
Use moisturizers: They are made of petroleum jelly, fatty acids, or natural oils. When applied to the skin, they replace the lipids that were washed off. They also form another layer on the skin that cuts off irritants and minimizes loss of moisture from the skin.
Your child might be allergic to specific foods, chemicals, or pollen.
When the child is exposed to the allergens, the body’s immune system overreacts causing itchy skin. If the child’s skin has rashes, is red and inflamed, the itching might be due to an allergy.
The first thing you should do is identify the allergen.
Once you know the allergen, prevent further exposure.
If you cannot determine the allergen, consult a doctor. Certain over-the-counter drugs such as immunomodulators, topical corticosteroids, and antihistamines can be given to the child to reduce inflammation and relieve itching.
Abnormal production of sweat causes heat rashes.
The sweat blocks the sweat glands and pores thus forming itchy bumps under the skin. Signs of heat rash include blisters and red spots on the skin.
Heat rashes can be prevented by keeping the baby’s skin hydrated and reducing exposure to extreme heat. Further, you can dress the child in clothes made of materials that can absorb sweat. Cotton clothes are a good example.
Overproduction of sebum by the skin causes dandruff.
Dandruff can be indicated by the appearance of white or yellowish solid substances in the hair. Dandruff can be controlled by applying anti-dandruff shampoos on the baby’s head.
Mumps is prevalent in children and is caused by a viral infection and appears as big and painful swells on the face.
Symptoms include swelling of the glands in the cheek and mouth, fever, pain, cough, runny nose, and tiredness.
If you suspect your child has mumps, consult your doctor for diagnosis and treatment. In rare cases, mumps can cause deafness, affect the central nervous system and lead to other issues.
This is a disease that makes the skin thick, scaly, swollen, sensitive, dry, and itchy. The skin might also have red or brown patches. The cause of eczema is not yet known. It is believed to be hereditary.
Scientists are yet to find a cure for eczema. Nevertheless, you can reduce its severity by keeping the skin of your child moisturized. A doctor can also recommend specific drugs and emollients.
Wet diapers cause diaper rashes. This is because urine irritates the skin. Red inflamed patches on the abdomen are signs of diaper rashes.
You should not let your child stay with a wet diaper for long hours. If the damage is already done, you can ask your pharmacist for specialized creams that relieve itching.
General Remedies and Prevention Measures for Itchy & Dry Skin in Babies
- Trim the child’s fingernails to reduce the damage when they scratch the skin
- Keep the child’s hand busy with toys and dolls
- Clean the baby’s face after every meal
- Dress the baby in loose cotton clothes
- Wash new clothes before using them
- Bathe the baby in warm water regularly
- Make the child wear socks or cotton gloves in the hands before sleeping
- Regularly apply moisturizers to your child’s skin
About the Author
Zoe Dobson is a staff writer for Zwivel, dedicated to creating informative and fun wellness-focused content.
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