Tuesday December 11, 2018

Tips to Protect Sensitive Skin of Babies in Winter

Dr. Rajesh Kumawat, Head-Medical Services & Clinical Development, The Himalaya Drug Company, shares a few tips to combat atopic dermatitis in babies:

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Infants, baby, WOmb
Winter care for your little ones. Pixabay
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Babies have delicate skin, which is sensitive to humidity and changes in the weather. Cold weather affects the skin even further by causing rashes, redness and itching.

Most rashes are harmless and go away on their own. However, in some situations, the skin condition can become chronic and difficult to manage. Atopic dermatitis, also called atopic eczema, is one such skin condition that affects one in five children globally.

Atopic dermatitis is long-lasting (chronic) and tends to flare periodically. Often, it appears in infants in the first year of birth and progresses till five years of age and, at times, even beyond. It leads to inflamed and itchy skin, resulting in patches of red and dry skin. The condition may worsen during colder months. Often, as the child enters teenage, the skin condition persists, affecting daily activities. This leads to a lack of self-confidence, thus impacting the child’s overall personality development.

Atopic dermatitis can lead to skin infections, as the dry, inflamed skin results in cracks, causing microbes and irritants to enter the skin. Dryness, itching, cracks, and redness are the common symptoms of atopic dermatitis, which can occur anywhere on the body.

A child whose family member has a history of asthma or allergies is more likely to develop atopic dermatitis. There is a 40-50 per cent probability of a child developing atopic dermatitis if one of her parents also suffered from the condition. This figure rises to 50-80 per cent when both the parents suffered from the skin condition.

Dr. Rajesh Kumawat, Head-Medical Services & Clinical Development, The Himalaya Drug Company, shares a few tips to combat atopic dermatitis in babies:

Avoid harsh soaps: Use baby washes containing herbal actives, specially formulated for baby’s delicate skin. Natural ingredients like Indian aloe (aloe vera), almond oil, milk, and olive oil work together to nourish and maintain the moisture balance of baby’s skin.

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Understanding the needs of baby’s skin is essential for healthy development, both physical and mental. Pixabay

Avoid hot baths, long showers: Maintain the right water temperature for the baby’s bath. Water should be lukewarm, as hot water can make the skin dry. Baby should be bathed for not more than 10 to 15 minutes. Lightly pat the skin with a towel to remove excess water, and avoid drying the skin completely.

Keep fingernails short: Keep your child’s fingernails short and cover itchy areas with a cloth or dressing to prevent scratching that can cause skin irritation and infection.

Moisturise the skin: Immediately apply a gentle and hydrating lotion or cream to moisturise baby’s skin immediately after a bath. A good moisturising agent usually consists of natural ingredients such as coconut, kokum, rice, and aloe vera, among others. Moisturising helps hydrate the skin and relieve skin irritation.

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Put comfortable dresses: Loose cotton clothing helps keep the baby comfortable, whereas woollen and synthetic fibres may keep baby too warm and worsen the skin condition. Avoid covering the baby in thick blankets/clothes that can cause irritation to sensitive skin.

Avoid harsh chemical products: Choose products that are free from mineral oils, parabens, fragrances and artificial colours. Natural ingredients like kokum and aloe vera are known for their hydrating and moisturising properties. Rice bran extract provides necessary skin components called ceramides, which are essential for maintaining skin barrier function and retaining skin moisture. Coconut has anti-inflammatory properties that help reduce redness and soothe the skin.

Understanding the needs of baby’s skin is essential for healthy development, both physical and mental. Any ailment of the skin can affect baby’s overall well-being. (IANS)

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Winter Care Tips For Newborns

C. Suresh Kumar, Head Of Department - Pediatrics and Neonatology, Apollo Cradle, suggests:

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Infants, baby, WOmb
Winter care for your little ones. Pixabay

The winter season can bring some key challenges for new parents as newborns are a little more sensitive and need extra care in the cold season. Ensure their skin is well moisturised and protected, say experts.

Rajesh Vohra, CEO, Artsana India (Chicco), in assistance with Chicco Osservatorio, suggests:

* Must-have body lotions for winter: To fight dryness of baby skin in winters, selecting the perfect baby lotion can be a task for parents as babies have thin skin which loses its moisture faster in comparison to adults. Body lotion with Parabens-free formula and richness of sweet almond milk are ideal for protection and moisturising baby’s delicate skin.

* Moisturising rich cream: In winter, parents should always make sure that baby is being moisturised properly, especially the most exposed areas like face, hands and legs after bath to keep the baby’s skin soft and supple throughout the day. Good quality cream with the richness of Omega-3 and Vitamin E helps in deeply nourishing skin’s driest areas keeping it nourished all along the day.

* Nourishment through massage oil: The skin of a newborn is very gentle and requires special care each day. Massaging the baby with special baby oil that is parabens-free and enriched with high nourishing properties of rice bran oil is very beneficial for the baby’s delicate skin.

* Winter apparels, for keeping your baby warm with comfort: While shopping for babies, parents must look for certified and high quality natural fabrics which are soft and comfortable so that it does not cause rashes and discomfort to the baby.

* Protection from dry air: In winter, the humidity level drops and dry air can affect baby’s health — from nasal infection to sore throat — which they can’t even let you know, and from dry skin and cracked lips to breathing issues in some cases. A humidifier in the baby’s room adds much-needed moisture to the air and creates favourable breathing conditions, allowing your baby to sleep comfortably.

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The skin of a newborn is very gentle and requires special care each day. Pixabay

C. Suresh Kumar, Head Of Department – Pediatrics and Neonatology, Apollo Cradle, suggests:

* Take Care of the skin: Do not apply too much of soap and leave it on the body for long as it dries up the skin causing irritation. Bath duration should not exceed 5 minutes in order to prevent over hydration of skin which may lead to easy fragility of skin and decrease threshold of injury.

* Give a quick bath: As baby skin is very thin and fragile you should dab rather than vigorously rubbing which results in damage to superficial layers of skin. Finish bath quickly.

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* Include fresh fruits and vegetables in the diet to keep skin healthy: Fresh vegetables, especially green leafy vegetables and fresh fruits like apples, bananas and oranges, should be given to increase immunity and health of the skin.

* Keep the child warm: Make sure the baby is warm inside the home. Your baby should be well covered while you take him/her out in the winter and must be covered in woollen clothes, socks and mittens (if there’s any allergy or irritation, use cotton). The child should not be exposed to cold winds which cause can cause cold, cough and pneumonia.

* Keep the skin moist: Always try to keep the baby skin moist. Apply moisturiser within a few minutes after the bath. Since the skin is very delicate, use moisturisers that contain coconut oil, olive oil and almond oil. This will also nourish the skin. (IANS)