Newborn skin is known to be soft and sensitive. However, there are some babies who are born with sensitive skin types. Therefore, parents should be more observant in recognizing the characteristics of sensitive baby skin so that you know better what to do to treat it.
Why is baby’s skin sensitive?
Basically, baby’s skin is sensitive. Michael Freeman, a dermatologist from The Skin Center, explains in Essential Baby Australia that there is quite a clear difference between infant skin and adult skin. This is because baby’s skin is still developing in its first year and is susceptible to infection.
The outer layer of the skin (epidermis) plays an important role as the body’s first line of defense. The epidermis protects the organs in the body from being deprived of water while at the same time keeping too much water from entering the body. In other words, the epidermis regulates the amount of water that enters and leaves. The epidermis also functions as a protector of organs in the body from germs and viruses that cause disease.
However, the epidermis of the baby’s skin is still very thin and basically has not yet formed a natural moisturizer like in adult humans. This is what makes their skin prone to losing a lot of water compared to adults.
Characteristics of sensitive baby skin that need special care
There are several features of sensitive baby skin that require extra care than usual. Sensitive skin is also more common in premature babies. This is because their epidermis is not well developed like other babies. Here are the characteristics of sensitive baby skin that you need to pay attention to.
1. There is a rash or red spots
Red spots in babies are basically normal. The rash is due to the body’s reaction to foreign substances from outside. However, if you notice that more and more red spots are appearing, this could be a sign of an allergic reaction from certain substances. Take it to the doctor for a consultation.
2. Baby’s skin texture looks very dry
Babies are prone to dry skin because their epidermal function is not fully developed. However, if your baby’s skin is often dull and very dry, you need to be extra tight in keeping the skin moisturised. Frequently apply a special moisturizer for baby’s skin to prevent skin irritation, especially in the skin folds that often sweat. Consult your doctor if the moisturizer actually creates an allergic reaction on the baby’s skin.
3. Baby’s skin is susceptible to various diseases
Sensitive baby skin can also be characterized by skin that is prone to various diseases, such as hives, eczema, prickly heat, ringworm (fungal skin infection), diaper rash, to impetigo (bacterial skin infection). These diseases will basically improve over time as the baby’s immune system develops. However, after a few days if it doesn’t get better, you need to consult a doctor.
Do not over clean sensitive baby skin
According to Freeman, there are some common mistakes parents make to their babies when they come to the hospital. One of them is over cleansing or excessive cleaning the baby. Usually, parents use harsh soaps and shampoos when bathing, bathing babies for too long, or even setting bath water too hot. This is not good for the baby’s skin.
Basically, there are many bacterial colonies all over the baby’s body. These bacteria help influence the development of the defense system or immune system in the baby’s skin. As you know, the human body responds to foreign substances and enriches information to increase its defenses.
Excessive cleaning of the baby’s skin will kill all the bacteria so that the immune system in the skin doesn’t develop properly. Temperature that is too hot can also kill bacteria. This is what makes baby’s skin prone to various kinds of infections in the future.
Therefore, it is important for parents to know the right way to care for sensitive baby skin.
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