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Newborn baby's skin is tender and immature. Its sensitivity is extreme because it lacks protection against external agents once, when they are washed or bathed for the first time, babies lose the natural protection that covers them in the mother's womb. Using products with a neutral pH, avoiding sun exposure, wearing cotton clothes and avoiding friction with skin folds are some of the measures we can take to protect the delicate skin of the newborn baby.
The doctor Angela Hernández Martín, Associate doctor at the Niño Jesús Hospital in Madrid and a dermatologist at the Beata María Ana Hospital in Madrid offers us the best advice to take care of baby's skin and treat cradle cap.
1. How long is it convenient to keep vernix caseosa?Children are born with a predominantly fatty substance called vernix caseosa, which has many functions, including protecting the child from dehydration and even infections from the surrounding environment. In this sense, it seems that it is convenient to keep this fatty substance in contact with the child's skin for the first days after birth. It is difficult to specify or establish a specific day on which the child should be bathing for the first time. It is convenient to wait several days, in addition this substance disappears little by little without having to wash it. In principle, it seems that a week is a prudent number of days to continue supporting the child with its natural protection.
2. What is the best way to treat newborn skin? To keep it in good condition, it is advisable to bathe the child with neutral soaps, and the frequency will depend on the advice of each pediatrician and the criteria of each mother. The person who takes care of the child, who touches him, who kisses him, who bathes him every day, must have clean hands because they are the most frequent source of contact on the baby's skin. The soaps should be mild, without too many perfumes or too foamy so that they do not carry the fat, which offers the natural protection of the skin. In general, you should always use infant lines, which are specifically created to protect the baby's skin.
3. How should we hydrate the baby's skin?As for hydration, it is convenient to hydrate the baby's skin with a non-perfumed, baby-specific moisturizer. It must be taken into account that the baby's skin is very thin and can very easily absorb substances that come into contact with its skin. For this reason, you cannot put it in contact with any type of cream, soap or antiseptic, and you have to be careful in that regard. It is always advisable to use the products recommended by the pediatrician or dermatologist who frequently visits that child.
4. How should we treat cradle cap? Cradle cap is a benign and very common condition in babies under three months of age. Many times it goes away on its own, it does not need any type of treatment, but other times it acquires a significant thickness and is difficult to remove. In general, they do not have any importance because they will solve themselves.
Therefore, when the scab is more intense and is more attached to the scalp, substances can be used to soften it. On some occasions, it is necessary to use topical corticosteroids, which are anti-inflammatory, or also keratolytics, which are substances that help eliminate this thick corneal layer that the baby presents.
5. What care is necessary for the health of the skin of babies older than three months?
Baby skin care does not differ much from child or adult skin care. However, you must be careful above all with the delicacy and ability to absorb substances, which has the skin of younger children. Therefore, we must avoid applying highly perfumed creams, with substances that can irritate your skin. Although an adult can tolerate them normally, children cannot. This is the case with salicylic acid creams.
Source: interview with the dermatologist Ángela Hernández Martín, Hospital Niño Jesús de Madrid.
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