Lotions, creams or ointments: Which is the right moisturiser for your baby's skin?

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Here's what you should be knowing before you choose a moituriser for your baby's sensitive skin.

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A baby’s skin at birth is very different from an adult’s and needs extra care and protection.1It develops gradually as the baby grows.

The stratum corneum (SC) is located in the epidermis which is the top-most layer of the skin and serves as a barrier to prevent harmful pathogens from entering your baby’s body and helps in hydration of the skin.2 Thus it is vital to understand the importance of moisturizing your baby’s skin with the right product to prevent dryness and irritation.2

Why you should moisturise your baby’s skin

baby skin

A baby’s skin is fragile and holds less moisture than an adult’s. Rashes, dry skin, skin irritation, heat boils are some common problems that your baby may experience in the first few months; which may continue for a few years as well. Hence it essential to hydrate it with a topical emollient commonly referred to as moisturizers.

  • Moisturizing is essential to prevent your baby’s skin from drying or chapping especially in the cold weather.4
  • Moisturizing your baby’s skin with a product containing natural ingredients like petroleum or glycerin helps in treating atopic dermatitis (AD) since it rehydrates the SC.4, 5
  • Recent studies show that daily application of moisturizer during the first 32 weeks of life may reduce the risk of AD and improves skin barrier function in infants.6 

How to moisturise your baby’s skin

Since a baby has a relatively larger surface area compared to its weight, moisturizers when applied are absorbed in higher concentrations. 7 But it is important to know how and when to moisturize your baby’s skin.

  1. The best time to moisturize your baby’s skin is immediately after you have given him/her a bath with lukewarm water.7
  2. Gently pat your baby with a dry soft towel since rubbing can cause irritation. Since the skin of your baby is still damp, it will help in locking the moisturizer which will keep the skin well lubricated all day.7
  3. Before you use any oil, cream or lotion to massage your baby, it is advised you consult with your doctor to prevent your baby from any harsh skin reactions or allergies.7

Continue reading on the next page to know which is the best moisturiser for your baby's skin!

Which is the best moisturiser for your baby's skin?

Moisturisers can be classified into 3 types-ointment, creams, and lotions. 8 Depending on the climate where you reside you could opt for these accordingly. Ointments have the highest amount of oil, followed by creams, and the last being lotions which contain the least amount of oil.

Lotions are most suitable in summers and creams or ointment in the winters. Consult your doctor for any queries related to the usage, type, and benefits of moisturizers or if you observe any skin disorders in your baby.8

Also Read: Everything you need to know about your baby's sleep cycles and patterns

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[Image courtesy: Pixabay]
References:
Trotter, S.Care of the Newborn: Proposed new guidelines. British Journal of Midwifery Vol:2004:12:3.Accessed15 September,2016
Telofski, LS etaTheInfantSkin Barrier: Can We Preserve,Protect,and EnhancetheBarrier? Dermatology Research and Practice.Vol.2012:1-19. www.hindawi.com/journals/drp/2012/198789/. Accessed 15September,2016
Google books. Pediatric nursing. books.google.ae/books?id=p18QKXFneqgC&pg=PA136&dq=atopic+dermatitis+in+babies&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwj3suP-t5PPAhXpDsAKHaO8DwoQ6AEIKDAB#v=onepage&q=atopic%20dermatitis%20in%20babies&f=false. Accessed on 16 September, 2016 Google books. Better nutrition. books.google.ae/books?id=IQUAAAAAMBAJ&pg=PA60&dq=why+should+you+moisturize+baby+skin&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwih1_TTopPPAhXFCsAKHfqXDS84ChDoAQg2MAE#v=onepage&q=why%20should%20you%20moisturize%20baby%20skin&f=false.Accessed on 16 September, 2016
Google books. Baby Skin: A Leading Dermatologist's Guide to Infant and Childhood Skin Care books.google.ae/books?id=8JhV4A_nzyQC&pg=PA9&dq=how+to+select+a+moisturizer+for+baby%27s+skin&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwic6oGdopPPAhWqLMAKHdnSCI4Q6AEINjAB#v=onepage&q=how%20to%20select%20a%20moisturizer%20for%20baby's%20skin&f=false Accessed on 16 September,2016Horimukai, K. et al. Application of moisturizer to neonates prevents development of atopic dermatitis. Vol 2014:134:4. Accessed 16 September,2016
Google books. Baby Skin: The Comprehensive Guide to Skin Care. books.google.ae/books?id=cTxZkb-VHr8C&pg=PA53&dq=importance+of+moisturizing+baby+skin&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwi5zdncn5PPAhVICsAKHaKOCrAQ6AEINDAA#v=onepage&q=importance%20of%20moisturizing%20baby%20skin&f=false. Accessed 16 September,2016
Google books.Lippincott's Primary Care Dermatology. books.google.ae/books?id=xdsPAAAAQBAJ&pg=PT92&dq=classification+of+moisturizers&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjsr8T64pPPAhXHIsAKHfeUB28Q6AEIPTAE#v=onepage&q=classification%20of%20moisturizers&f=false. Accessed 16 September,2016

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