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As a first time parent, it is devastating to see your little one's body covered with those red spots and rashes all over the body. Undoubtedly, there is no feeling as magical as touching a baby’s skin. It feels good and smells mesmerizing. But little did we know that the brand new epidermis is prone to so many rashes and bumps and we learned it our own hard way. Babies, especially newborns have a very sensitive skin. Although most of the baby blemishes are not painful and itchy and often disappear on its own, some may need medical intervention. A newborn's skin is different from that of an adult. Once the baby is born, there is a sudden change from the intrauterine environment to external environment which can cause irritations to the baby's skin.
My son developed red spots all over his body when he was just twenty days old. As a first time parent, we did what we did the best - freaking out! Although my mother told us that this is very common with newborns, the next day we took him to the pediatrician. The doctor examined my son with just a glance and was so calm that it made me doubt his well framed degree which was hanging on the wall behind him. He told us it is called baby acne and requires no intervention. However, he asked us to stop doing “maalish" so that it does not get aggravated. He explained to us how baby's upper layer of skin that we call epidermis is not well developed and how an infant does not need any kind of application on its skin. On our way back home, we knew that we have to be ready to fight a battle because telling our moms that the baby should not be massaged with oil was nothing less than a battle. But we had to do it. Eventually the red spots started subsiding gradually. Another instance that happened when my son was 5 months old; he developed dry rashes on his back. Thanks to Dr. Google, I was freaking out (yet again) thinking my son has developed eczema. My husband is a savior (I always knew he is smarter than me) we visited a doctor who confirmed it was not eczema and was a fungal infection which too subsided with treatment. As a new parent it is very likely to get worried about every little thing that happens to our babies and skin eruptions are the first thing to happen soon after birth. With my son, some or the other skin issues have always been there. It was like one gets better, and the other appears. This made me do some fair amount of research which I feel glad to share with my fellow parents.
There are different kinds of skin blemishes and rashes. However, the most common ones being;
Skin is the most susceptible part of baby’s body. While in the womb, many organs develop early, skin is the last to form and even after birth, it takes time to mature. Therefore it requires extra diligence. Any product for the baby should have a mild fragrance or no fragrance and should be mild. The pH level should be pH7 or pH neutral. A pH level is a scale to measure the acidity or the alkalinity of a product. A value less than pH 7 is acidic and more is alkaline in nature. As baby’s skin is sensitive, it is important to check the pH level of any product before application. If your baby has dry skin, you must do a patch test before any kind of application. Usually, babies don't need any intervention in their skin. Unlike adults, baby acne does not even need much medication. The key is to let them be as they are, ensuring basic hygiene. For me, the best way to pamper my baby's skin is to keep him clean and hydrated. It is very important to choose the right product when it comes to your baby. Post my doctor’s advice, I saw that I do not need to apply anything at all to my baby’s skin for the first 6 weeks; thereafter as and when whatever required. Every baby has a different kind of skin. It is firstly important to assess what kind of skin your baby has whether it’s normal or dry. Babies with dry skin need extra care. The recent studies show that the number of children having skin disorders is rising alarmingly. It may be because we are becoming a generation where chemicals are found in everything that we use at home today unlike the olden times where things were natural. It is at times difficult to gauge what exactly is causing a certain condition. It is better to eliminate use of any products then and to see whether it heals then. Although most of the conditions heal on its own, but if the condition doesn’t seem to get better, visiting a doctor will be the right move. The tiny tots cannot express their distress, we have to look for signs and do whatever is best possible to keep them rash free.
Watch Dr. Indu Khosla talk about the skin issues concerning babies and breaking the myths about it: