By Dr Satish Bhatia
Like adults, babies can develop dry skin too. This is primarily because the baby is covered with amniotic fluid when they are in the womb. Post birth, the upper layer of their skin does peel off but the underlying skin is healthy, soft and moist. Some babies, on the other hand, are born with comparatively drier skin. Winters, particularly, can be troublesome for babies. To ensure your baby’s comfort, it is essential to tackle dryness irrespective of changing seasons.
Here are a few do’s and don’ts for you to follow:
· Avoid overexposure to water. Long baths should be avoided. Opt for shorter lukewarm baths that are much easier on the baby’s skin.
· Don’t use soap. Soap bars and bubble baths can be hard on your baby’s skin. Instead, use soap-free products. This wash helps in gently cleansing their hair and scalp, nourishing it with care.
· During winters, refrain from excessive use of heaters. Hot hair can be drying and cause undue damage to your little one’s skin.
· Avoid using chemicals. A newborn’s skin is very sensitive. If the skin comes in contact with hard chemicals like perfumes and soaps, it can cause irritation on the baby’s skin with a scratch or even drying it further.
· Do keep your baby hydrated. The baby must receive all the necessary fluids for the growth and nourishment of their skin.
· Keep them well moisturised. Apply a hypo-allergic lotion that keeps the baby’s delicate skin hydrated for a longer duration.
· Ensure that your baby’s head is covered and their face is wrapped especially on chilly days to avoid chapped skin during monsoon and winter.
· Gently pat dry the baby’s face and avoid rubbing their skin with the towel to reduce friction or peeling of their skin.
(The writer is MD, dermatologist and skin surgeon at Dermetics, Indian Cancer society, Mumbai. Inputs: Cetaphil Baby)