Skincare for Babies and Children during Winter season

Diwali brings with it a certain coolness in the weather. Temperature and humidity both drop and makes skin prone to dryness. Babies and young children have more sensitive skin which makes them more vulnerable. I have also noticed an increase in Atopy (– a condition where the skin is dry and sensitive and prone to rashes and eruptions.) in children which flares in winter. The recent ongoing epidemic of Hand Foot Mouth Disease has also left many children with dry, peeling and irritated skin.

Here are 10 tips to take care of your child’s skin this winter.

  • Use organic cold pressed oil to massage your baby. Coconut oil works best for tender skin. Avoid mixture of multiple oils. Definitely avoid mineral oil.
  • Let the oil get absorbed into the skin and wait for atleast 15 minutes before bathing the child. This allows the oil to get absorbed into the skin.
  • Bathe the child with gentle Soap-free cleansers. Use these too sparingly I small quantity.
  • Use lukewarm water to give a quick bath. Do not let the child soak in water for a long time. This strips the skin of moisture.
  • Do not scrub the skin. Do not use any grain flours or scouring powders as these will irritate the baby’s tender skin and may lead to allergies.
  • Pat dry the skin with a soft cotton towel. Avoid rubbing.
  • Once out of the bath, slather a good quality moisturising lotion all over the body. Let it get absorbed before clothing the child.
  • Use moisturising cream which is thick in consistency over dry patches and delicate skin such as that of the face. Even the skin over the buttocks in small kids needs special attention as it comes in contact with various materials ( diaper and clothing etc) and it touches many surfaces too. Be sure to moisturise your baby’s bottom well too.
  • Use cotton clothing under warm clothes as this is most soothing to tender skin. Use full sleeved vests and shirts and full legged bottoms so as to protect the skin from the dry weather.
  • Wash the child’s clothing and bedding clean so that there is no residue of detergent, fabric conditioner or any antiseptic solution in the clothes. Such a residue will trigger allergies, rashes and irritation.

Lastly do not experiment with skin care products for your child. Avoid fancy smells and colours as these often irritate the tender skin.

Follow these tips for a healthy skin and bid goodbye to rashes and crankiness!

Dr. Anuja Pethe

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