It’s only normal to have a slight panic whenever we see a mystery rash, swelling or discharge on our baby’s skin. After all, our baby’s skin should be clear and smooth and free of any undesirable marks, right? As it turns out, some skin conditions are common among babies and are treatable as long as we have the right knowledge. However, some conditions can be severe especially if not treated early.
Baby skin tends to erupt into a rash during the first year. This is because the human skin acts as a protective barrier against all sorts of elements, from sun to bacteria, but it takes about a year for that epidermis to get up to speed and function effectively.
Below are common infant skin conditions, with tips on how to detect and treat them.
Some babies have a few red spots over their nose and cheeks. These red spots can look a bit angry, similar to teenage acne. Although baby acne can be unsightly, rest assured that it will clear up by itself within about six weeks.
Don’t try to get rid of the acne. Just gently clean your baby's skin in the usual way when you top and tail her or bath her. Your baby's acne doesn't bother her in the least, so try not to let it bother you, either.
Milia are common in newborns. Tiny, white spots appear, usually across the nose, cheeks, chin, forehead or around the eyes. Milia look raised, but if you touch them they will feel smooth.
Milia normally appear a couple of weeks after birth because the oil glands on your baby's face are still developing. Your baby’s milia spots should clear up on their own within a month or six weeks.
This is a rash that can appear on the scalp and eyebrows (where it's known as cradle cap), behind the ears, or on the neck, cheeks and chest. It's most common in babies under 6 months. On the scalp and eyebrows, seborrhea looks like dandruff, although it can also appear like thick, yellow or crusty scales. Behind the ears, seborrhea tends to look cracked and scaly; on the chest and neck, it may be pimply, and on the cheeks, it's red and bumpy. It can be unsightly but probably won't bother your baby at all. The traditional remedy is to rub a little olive or baby oil on your baby's scalp to loosen the scales, then gently brush them off. Dr. Brennan also recommends washing the scalp, behind the ears, and any other spots with a small amount of anti-dandruff shampoo.
Eczema is a dry, itchy skin condition that affects up to one in five children. It usually appears for the first time before your child is two years old. The good news is that most children who have eczema will grow out of the condition by the time they are in their teens. Eczema can't be cured, but it can be controlled with the right treatments.
he treatment of eczema depends on its severity. If your child has mild eczema with only a few red and itchy areas, you may simply be advised to use an emollient lotion, cream or ointment, sometimes combined with a short course of a low-strength steroid cream.
Moisturising your baby's skin to prevent flare-ups is crucial. All children with eczema need to use liberal quantities of an emollient several times a day, even if no patches of eczema are present. This prevents skin from drying out too much.
This is a skin reaction to something your baby came in contact with—from soaps and detergents to grass and other plants. It looks like Red, itchy bumps at the contact site. If the rash looks dry, moisturise it. If it's not bothering your baby, just remove the trigger (roll up the rug, wash the shirt, try a milder soap, a gentler laundry detergent). If the rash is itchy, talk to your doctor about a hydrocortisone cream or an antihistamine.
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