The challenge of winter: Caring for your baby during the harsh winter can be a challenge. Parents constantly worry about whether their baby is warm enough and, more importantly, whether her sensitive skin is well protected. Extreme weather can exacerbate skin conditions, such as atopic dermatitis, in babies. This makes it essential for parents to adopt a comprehensive skin care regimen for their children.
Very sensitive baby skin: The outermost layer of a baby’s skin is about 30 percent thinner than that of adults. Delicate skin, along with a developing skin barrier, makes some babies prone to itchy, irritated, and dry skin. The physiologically fragile nature of baby skin requires microbiome-friendly products.
During winter, cold, dry air and low humidity strip the skin of its natural moisture and compromise the skin’s delicate barrier function, leading to eczema or atopic dermatitis. These babies experience extreme discomfort, redness, and itching.
The Indian Academy of Pediatrics (IAP) has standardized guidelines on pediatric skin care. According to the IAP, atopic dermatitis occurs in genetically predisposed children with impaired epidermal barrier function and immunological problems. These skin conditions are chronic and are also caused by various external factors. About 60 percent of children with atopic dermatitis develop symptoms within the first year and 90 percent by five years of age.
Clean it well: Cleansing is the first step in your baby’s skin care routine. It is recommended to use a soap-free, pH-balanced liquid cleaner that does not alter the barrier function. Choose a cleanser suitable for treating skin conditions such as atopic dermatitis and eczema rather than generic cleansers. The cleanser should have been clinically shown to gently cleanse and soothe the irritated and damaged skin barrier, as well as being rich in colloidal oatmeal and other moisturizing ingredients, such as oat extract and shea butter. It is recommended to choose products free of fragrances, parabens and phthalates. According to IAP guidelines, babies with sensitive skin should be given a quick bath (5 to 10 minutes) in warm water.
Focus on hydration: It is the most important aspect of the skin care regimen for babies with sensitive skin. A moisturizer not only hydrates but also protects the skin against dryness. Moisturizers formulated with colloidal oatmeal have nourishing lipids that help restore and strengthen the skin barrier and temporarily protect irritated, chapped or cracked skin. Choose a hypoallergenic lotion, which helps protect baby’s skin from the drying effects of cold weather while also helping skin stay soft and smooth.
Oatmeal is excellent for dry and sensitive skin: There is now significant scientific evidence on the role of oats in soothing sensitive skin. The use of oat-based moisturizers is internationally recommended by pediatricians and dermatologists, given the extensive clinical evidence validating their effectiveness in addressing conditions such as atopic dermatitis and eczema.
The IAP guidelines also recommend emollients containing natural colloid oatmeal. Additionally, colloidal oatmeal is the only skin-protective ingredient approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of dry, sensitive, and itchy skin. Explore products with high amounts of Aveanthramides. Several studies show that these products have anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, anti-itch and anti-irritant properties that provide soothing benefits to the skin.