Everything you need to know about skin peeling in newborns
Bringing a baby into the world is one of the greatest joys in the life of a mother. After nine months of anticipation, you finally hold your baby in your arms. It is at this moment that you pledge to do anything to keep your little one safe. As a new parent, you want to shower your baby with all the love and care you can and give him or her only the best. Your parental instincts take over as you become attentive to every minute movement, every sound, and every change.
A newborn’s skin undergoes several changes in appearance in the first few weeks after the delivery. You may notice that your baby’s hair colour and complexion become lighter or darker as time goes by. Sometimes, even before leaving the hospital, you may observe that your baby’s skin starts becoming dry and flaky. This leads to the newborn’s skin peeling in multiple places like the hands, the soles of the feet and around the ankles.
What Causes Skin Peeling in Babies?
As a new parent, you are alarmed to see your little baby’s skin peeling and often ask the question, “Have I done something wrong?”. However, you can rest assured that skin peeling is completely normal in newborns. Babies spend nine months in the womb surrounded by protective fluids like the amniotic fluid, blood, and vernix. The vernix is a thick coating that protects your baby’s skin and after birth, the nurse wipes off these fluids.
Since your baby’s skin is sensitive and does not exfoliate like an adult, it starts becoming drier when exposed to air. Within one to three weeks after birth, the outer layer of their skin starts shedding and is then replaced by a new layer of skin. This outer layer is soft, yet resilient and helps your baby’s body adjust to life outside the womb.
Is Skin Peeling Normal in Babies?
While this transition takes place, as new parents, you are often worried, wondering whether it is normal and what can be done to treat your infant’s skin. Along with investing in superior quality baby care products, you should also know about a few simple solutions to add to your baby’s care regime and follow it regularly to protect your baby’s skin. Now that we know the reason behind the dryness and peeling skin, let’s look at ways to keep your baby’s skin soft and supple.
How to prevent skin peeling & dryness in newborns?
Skin peeling can mostly be treated with some precautions. Here are four things you can do right away to reduce skin peeling:
1. Reduce your baby’s bath time
2. Say NO to harsh chemicals
3. Moisturize regularly with a pH balanced moisturizer
4. Keep you newborn well covered
1. Reduce your baby’s bath time
When it comes to your baby’s bath time, the motto that you must follow is “less is more”. A longer bath time can adversely affect your baby’s skin. An ideal bath time should be between five to ten minutes, beyond which the natural oils present in your baby’s skin starts to wash off. This makes the infant more susceptible to dry and flaky skin.
Before taking your baby for a bath, please ensure that the bath water is of the right temperature. Lukewarm baths are the best as too hot water can cause more dryness and in too cold water your baby can catch a cold. Cutting down on the bath time and using a mild soap with a balanced pH value, like the Sebamed baby cleansing bar in lukewarm water. It is a clinically proven method to reduce the dryness as the refatting compounds found in the Sebamed baby cleansing bar are known to protect the skin without stripping it of natural oils during bathing.
After bathing, gently apply a moisturizing lotion that seals the moisture and does not let your baby’s skin dry. The Sebamed baby lotion gets quickly absorbed in your baby’s skin without leaving any stickiness or greasiness. It increases the hydration in your baby’s skin by about 16% in three weeks. This helps your baby’s skin to stay soft and supple. Later, during the day you can also use baby powder to absorb moisture and keep the rashes away from your little one’s delicate skin. The Sebamed baby powder absorbs the extra moisture from your baby’s skin and the olive oil present in it soothes the skin, keeping inflammations away from your baby.
2. Say NO to harsh chemicals
Your newborn’s skin is very sensitive and can get instantly irritated if harsh chemicals are used. Chemicals found in a baby’s bath products like the face and body wash can damage the protective barrier of their soft skin and cause more peeling over time. The Sebamed baby soap is one of the best newborn baby soaps to use. With a pH of 5.5, it soothes your baby’s delicate skin and promotes the regeneration of new skin.It is 100% alkali free which minimizes the chances of developing an allergic reaction in your baby’s skin and keeps the protective barrier of their new skin in place.
Along with using chemical-free bath products with a balanced pH level like the Sebamed baby soap, you should also use a chemical-free laundry detergent for washing your young one’s clothes. A regular laundry detergent may contain chemical fragrances that may irritate your baby’s skin. To preserve their fragile skin, opt for fragrance-free products, and keep away perfumes or scented products to prevent secondary exposure to chemicals.
3. Moisturize regularly using a pH balanced baby moisturizer
After giving your baby a lukewarm bath with the best newborn baby soap, it is important to apply a hypoallergenic moisturizer immediately. Moisturizing creams are quickly absorbed and help in easing the dryness. Softly massage the areas which are flaky and peeling with a chemical-free moisturizing cream like the Sebamed baby cream that not only provides a protective layer to the new skin, but it also supports the pH levels and the natural lipid (fats) balance of your baby’s skin. The lipid fats help in insulating your baby’s skin and keeps them protected against the weather. This is why it is important to use a lotion like the Sebamed baby cream which has 42% lipid composition to protect your baby’s sensitive skin.
4. Keep your newborn well-covered
Being exposed to wind and cold can lead to dryness and increase skin peeling. One of the best baby care tips is to cover your baby’s hands and feet with mittens and socks as well as wrap a soft blanket around them while taking them outdoors. This will protect your baby from catching a cold and keep their skin supple.
It is advisable that you avoid dressing your baby in tight clothes because this puts unnecessary pressure on their skin and makes them uncomfortable. Soft and loose fabrics made from natural materials keep your baby comfortable and do not chafe against their peeling skin. This way, the skin can gently regenerate without causing discomfort to your little one.
Should You See a Doctor?
The peeling and dry skin does not last for long. Your infant’s body soon develops a new skin that is compatible with its environment and adapts quickly. However, if you see prolonged peeling with tiny red bumps and blisters, visit a paediatrician at the earliest and avail of the proper treatment for your baby. It can be due to eczema or an allergic reaction to a product like your baby’s face wash, massage oil, or body wash.
Being a parent is not an easy task, but with time, proper care, and premium quality baby care products, the journey becomes a beautiful one.