July 23, 2010

Baby Dry Skin: Treatment and Reasons

Posted in Category : Child Health

Dry and sensitive skin is a very common problem in babies. Since they have just come out from a watery world into a world that is filled with pollution and different chemicals in the air, their skin is prone to react. In most cases red patches occur on their body that can be due to one of the following reasons:

  • Reaction to soaps or lotions used during and after a bath: Just because a certain brand is very popular, it might not mean that your baby’s skin agrees with it. If you notice that there is a reaction, switch to a perfume free soap or lotion and see if your baby feels better. Also look to see if your baby is comfortable with the temperature of the bath water. A lukewarm bath with soap used only during every alternate bath is the best method. Pat the baby with a soft cotton towel after the bath. Rubbing or wiping a baby’s skin can cause friction and cause a rash.
  • Reaction to laundry solutions: If the dry skin appears in areas of the body that are in contact with the clothes, it might be that the solvents used for washing the clothes are either too strong or have not washed off properly. An extra rinse or a change of detergent could be an effective solution to this.
  • Nappy Rash: If the nappy is not changed often enough, it causes the acids in the urine to react with the skin, causing a rash. Change the nappy often and wipe or wash the area with a mild soap and water. Put on a fresh diaper only after the area is dried out well. After drying, use a generous amount of a zinc oxide based cream.
  • Baby dry skin eczema: It has been found that 10 to 20% of children have eczema. The causes could be hereditary or caused by allergens in the baby’s diet or the mother’s diet if she is breast feeding. Eczema usually occurs in the first year of life and is seen on the forehead, cheeks, and neck and could spread to other parts of the body. Eczema looks like scaly, thickened, dry skin or like tiny red blisters that can ooze. Eczema could be one of the main reasons for baby dry skin on the face.


  • Using a bleach bath (a hand full of bleach in a tub of bath water) twice a week is very helpful.
  • Use lukewarm water and use soap only at the end of the bath so that the baby’s skin is not exposed to soap for a long time.
  • After a bath, use baby dry skin cream or emollient and allow the baby’s skin to breathe by wrapping your baby in natural fabrics.