As smooth as a baby’s bottom’ is a common phrase which alludes to the supple and smooth nature of a baby’s skin. However, every mum knows that every now and then it’s common for babies to experience various skin conditions as they grow. Below are some of the most common skin conditions and how to get babies’ skin look as smooth as the day they were born.
If your baby has cradle cap, it will look like a very bad case of dandruff. It’s common in newborns, and can show up as a red area on your baby’s scalp, covered with greasy, yellow, scaly patches. Over time, the scales can start to become flaky so they rub off easily, just like dandruff, but often with bits of your baby’s hair attached.
In some bad cases, it causes bald patches on the baby’s head. Cradle cap could be mild, lasting just a week or two, or last as long as three months! An easy remedy is to wash baby’s scalp with normal baby shampoo and then apply generous amounts of baby oil or any other natural oil such as coconut or olive oil. Once the oil sits for a few minutes, comb baby hair and watch the scales fall off. If the cradle cap seems severe, consult your paediatrician.
If your baby has acne, he may have it at birth, but it usually shows up after a couple of weeks. It looks like small pimples or whiteheads, surrounded by reddish skin. The pimples are likely to appear on your baby’s cheeks, but may also appear on his forehead, chin, and back.
it’s not as stubborn. Baby acne doesn’t need treatment and it will eventually disappear on its own. If it persists for more than a few weeks, then it’s safe to see your paediatrician.
This is one of the most common skin conditions, especially in the tropics. Medical experts suspect that it is caused by blocked sweat glands. The easiest way to treat heat rash is to dress baby coolly, not in layers upon layers of clothing on a very hot day. Also ensure your baby’s room is well ventilated.
Diaper rash also called nappy rash is usually caused by prolonged contact with wet and soiled diaper. The easiest and safest way to treat diaper rash is by keeping baby dry, this can be achieved by changing diapers timely! Sometimes, try to air your baby’s bottom for a few minutes under supervision. If airing your baby’s bottom isn’t working, then try using any over the counter diaper rash treatment that contains zinc oxide. Treatments like Sudocrem or Desitin may help bring swift healing to your baby’s delicate bottom.
If your baby has eczema, he may have dry, itchy, red, and cracked areas of skin, which can sometimes ooze fluid and bleed. Your baby may have eczema on his hands, face, neck, elbows, and the backs of his knees.
Eczema usually occurs in flare-ups. Your baby’s skin may have red and itchy patches of skin most of the time, but during flare-ups these areas worsen and may need more intensive treatment.
If your baby has measles, his first symptoms can include:
- runny nose
- fever of about 38 degrees C
- sore red swollen eyes
- small white spots in his mouth
Three days or four days after these symptoms you will notice red spots behind your baby’s ears and on his face and neck. As the rash appears his fever may rise. The spots will spread over his body and develop a bumpy texture. The rash may be itchy and will last about five days. As it fades it turns a brownish colour.
This should not be confused with ringworm or eczema which is Ifo in Yoruba. Eela usually affects the scalp and some parts of the body. In some parts of Nigeria, it is treated with a local mixture made from Hibiscus leaves (agbo). However, it is best to see your baby’s pediatrician for a proper diagnosis and prescription.
There are many other skin conditions that affect babies, some are usually harmless and short-lived, others may escalate if not properly handled. In some cases, a little fresh air and proper hygiene will clear them in no time. As always, when in doubt, always see your baby’s paediatrician.
Treatment for Baby Skin Problems
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Thanks for taking your time to read this article.