take care of the baby's skin

How to take care of the baby’s skin?

Taking care of your baby’s skin is necessary, but some excesses can also take their toll. We tell you how to do it correctly.

The skin is the largest organ in our body and requires specific care. In children, the skin is more delicate than in adults, therefore, specific products must be used that do not harm the balance of the skin.

It is such a fragile organ that it is recommended not to expose it to direct sunlight before six months of life. A baby can get sunburned in a very short period of time, 10 to 15 minutes, even on cloudy days. Sensitivity to UV rays is due to the weak pigmentation of the baby’s skin since its melanocytes (the cells responsible for the production of melanin) are present, they are less active.

How is the baby’s skin?

The baby’s skin is soft and smooth and, at the same time, resistant and elastic . It is thinner than that of the adult (it represents only 1/5 of the thickness of the adult skin and although it has the same layers as that of an adult, they are thinner) and also more delicate. Therefore, it is more sensitive or reactive to external aggressors, so it needs extra care and protection.

  • The baby’s epidermis (the outermost layer) is much thinner and the cells are less compact than in adult skin.
  • The sweat and sebaceous glands are also less active than in adults, so the hydrolipidic film (an emulsion of water and fat that covers and protects the surface of the skin) and the protective acid mantle (the aqueous part of the hydrolipidic film , which is slightly acidic) are still relatively weak.

In short, the skin’s barrier function is immature, making it less resistant and more sensitive to chemical, physical, and microbial influences. In addition, it is prone to dehydration and it is difficult for it to regulate its body temperature . As children grow the skin matures. Around the age of six, the structure of the skin and its appendages has fully matured and corresponds to that of the adult.

Hygiene of the skin and the diaper area

Skin hygiene through bathing and frequent diaper changes is essential . The bath does not have to be daily, but it is advisable to wash the diaper area with mild soap and water . Moisture and dirt for prolonged periods in this area can irritate it and make it vulnerable to infection.

  • Diapers are best if they are highly absorbent . We can also use a more sustainable formula using cloth diapers. It is not necessary to always use protective cream for the bottom, it will depend on whether it is a child who is very irritated or a little. To remove this type of thick cream, it is advisable to do it with oil or moisturizing cream, since they are creams that repel water.
  • A mild soap should be used, especially for babies and that is not very aggressive . Sometimes the fact that it doesn’t lather a lot is a good thing, as it’s a direct sign that it’s low in surfactants . The amount should be small, the size of a chickpea or less. After applying the soap, the baby’s skin and hair should be rinsed very well to avoid irritation.
  • The bath must be done with lukewarm water, at about 37ºC and use a bathtub or specific support that allows us to bathe the child safely, such as a bath chair or hammock. We must never leave him alone. After showering or bathing, the skin should be patted dry, without rubbing, insisting on the fold area (neck, groin, genitals, armpits). If desired, a moisturizing cream can be applied.with slightly damp skin. A very interesting option is to use good quality almond or apricot kernel oil. This formula avoids putting more synthetic formulas on the skin, betting on a more natural line. The secret to applying vegetable (not mineral) oil is to apply it to slightly damp skin. If a moisturizing cream is chosen, it must be fragrance -free and contain no substances such as alpha hydroxy acids, parabens or sunscreens .
  • It is not advisable to use perfume directly on the skin, even if it is specifically designed for babies. The best way to perfume it is with an alcohol-free cologne and spray it on your clothes, not your skin or scalp.
  • The wax produced by the ears should not be removed with a cotton swab, only the external part of the auricle should be cleaned.


The hair

The hair must be combed with a soft brush and cut when necessary.

The ones

Fingernails and toenails must be kept short and clean to avoid injuries and possible sources of infection if the child scratches.
Baby nails are very thin and grow very fast. There are babies who need to cut their nails up to twice a week. When they are soft, a soft file can be used. As they harden, special baby scissors with a blunt tip should be used.
Babies don’t like having their nails cut at all, take advantage when they are asleep. To avoid cutting the skin on your fingertips, hold your finger firmly and push the skin back.

What you should know…

  • In the baby, the barrier function of the skin is immature and this makes it less resistant and more sensitive to chemical, physical and microbial influences.
  • Skin hygiene is essential through bathing and frequent diaper changes.
  • The bath does not have to be daily, but it is advisable to wash the diaper area with mild soap and water so that dirt and moisture do not irritate it or expose it to infections.
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