Saturday January 25, 2020

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

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.

C-sections
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)

Next Story

Babies in ICU More Likely to Get Protected from Parental Bacteria: Study

The researchers selected for study 190 newborn babies admitted to two NICUs at Johns Hopkins-affiliated hospitals in Baltimore, Maryland, between November 2014 and December 2018

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Babies
To reduce the spread of Bacteria, the researchers turned to a simple regimen for mothers and fathers to follow while their Babies are in intensive care. Pixabay

Researchers have developed and tested a relatively simple strategy for reducing the chance of parents exposing their babies in the NICU to one of the most commonly diagnosed and potentially deadly microbial scourges in a hospital: Staphylococcus aureus.

“Traditional procedures for preventing hospital-acquired Staph infections in the NICU have primarily focused on keeping staff and facilities as sterile as possible,” said study researcher Aaron Milstone from Johns Hopkins University in the US.

“Our study is among the first to focus on parents as a source of the bacteria and then test the effectiveness of an intervention to combat the problem,” Milstone added.

According to the researchers, Staphylococcus aureus infections in the NICU not only threaten a sick or premature infant’s survival but their neurological development as well.

In a 2015 study, Milstone and others estimated that there are more than 5,000 cases of invasive such infections each year in NICUs across the US and that 10 per cent of the children will likely die before hospital discharge.

To reduce the spread of Staphylococcus aureus, the researchers turned to a simple regimen for mothers and fathers to follow while their child is in intensive care.

The preventive measure includes the application of an antibiotic (mupirocin) ointment into the nose and skin cleansing with a wipe containing two per cent chlorhexidine gluconate, an antiseptic widely used on patients to remove surface bacteria around a surgical site before an operation.

The Treating Parents to Reduce NICU Transmission of Staphylococcus (TREAT Parents) clinical trial was conducted to test the proposed strategy’s effectiveness.

Babies
Researchers have developed and tested a relatively simple strategy for reducing the chance of parents exposing their babies in the NICU to one of the most commonly diagnosed and potentially deadly microbial scourges in a hospital: Staphylococcus aureus. Pixabay

The researchers selected for study 190 newborn babies admitted to two NICUs at Johns Hopkins-affiliated hospitals in Baltimore, Maryland, between November 2014 and December 2018.

Each of the infants had at least one parent who tested positive for the bacteria when screened at the time of their child’s entry into the NICU.

Baseline S. aureus counts were done for the infants at the same time.

The parents of 89 babies self-administered the antibiotic nasal ointment twice a day for five days and cleaned designated skin areas with antiseptic wipes for the same time period.

The control group, consisting of the remaining 101 parental couples, used identically packaged placebo treatments of petroleum jelly and non-antiseptic wipes.

Both sets of babies were monitored for Staphylococcus colonization until discharge from the NICU. Bacteria recovered from the infants were analyzed to determine if they were the same strain as seen in at least one parent.

Among the 190 infants studied overall, 42, or about 22 per cent, acquired S. aureus that matched bacteria recovered from either their mother or father, or from both parents. In this group, four babies had MRSA strains acquired from a parent.

Babies
The study is among the first to focus on parents as a source of the bacteria to their babies and then test the effectiveness of an intervention to combat the problem. Pixabay

Of the 101 babies with parents in the control group, 29 per cent had parentally acquired bacteria compared with only 13 of the 89 babies whose parents were given actual antibiotic ointment and antiseptic wipes to use.

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“These results from our preliminary trial indicate that treatment with intranasal mupirocin and chlorhexidine wipes may significantly reduce the number of infants in the NICU who will get S. aureus from contact with a parent,” Milstone said. (IANS)