Baby Skin Sensitivity: Cases, Cause & Prevention
If you're a parent with a newborn, one of the things you're probably most concerned about is how your baby's skin will respond to regular life. If your baby is still too young to let you know what kind of skin they have, or if their reactivity might change by the time they get older, it helps to familiarize yourself with exactly what causes sensitivity in babies- that way you are not caught off guard.
The most common skin sensitivity issue is Eczema, also known as "atopic dermatitis", super, super common. As ferocious as it sounds, atopic dermatitis in babies is also common that is actually quite easy to spot. It's caused by an allergic reaction to something the child touches or eats, and the symptoms are red skin with patches of missing skin, itching or burning on the affected area, dry or cracked skin that becomes scaly, and sometimes thickened dry skin. No need to panic, there are options to help soothe your baby.
Atopic Dermatitis is prevalent globally impacting 15-20% of children. This percentage does fluctuate slightly between different child populations and in different parts of the world. The United States also has cases of AD approximately impacting 31.6 million people and 15% of them are children.
60% of those with Eczema will experience symptoms by the early age of 1, 30% will show symptoms by the age of 5. According to studies, for children living in the US, it shows that African-American children and European-American children have a large number of cases compared to Hispanic children.
Cause of Babies Who Were Born With Sensitive Skin
Some babies are born with sensitive skin. This is a fact many people don't realize, and one that has been an increasing problem in the last couple of decades. Some of these babies have sensitive skin from birth, but others develop it as they grow up and their allergies worsen.
According to John Hopkins Medicine, cases like Eczema are brought about by the environment and the genetic predisposition of the child. It can also be triggered by factors such as the climate and possible allergens. It is always best to monitor your baby and see what works for your little one.
Individuals with atopic dermatitis have a limited supply of certain proteins in their skin. This condition can trigger greater sensitivity. It is believed that parents with atopic dermatitis have a higher percentage of kids born with the same condition. The exact cause of how it is passed from parent to child is still unknown. However, experts have found that nearly half the people with moderate to severe eczema also have asthma, seasonal allergies or allergic rhinitis, or food allergies, though these do not usually start in early infancy.
Scientists have found that people who have a protein deficiency known as Filaggrin deficiency are at risk for developing eczema.
Here To Help, How To Prevent Having Dry/Sensitive Skin.
Babies are notoriously prone to dry, sensitive skin. In the case of newborns, breastfeeding is the best way to keep them nourished and hydrated. According to the WHO, exclusive breastfeeding is ideal for babies for 6 months.
Experts recommended ways to prevent your babies from having dry or sensitive skin:
- Avoid using harsh, heavily scented creams and perfumes around the baby.
- Use baby-friendly moisturizers if needed, apply fewer portions only on the baby's skin.
Keep bath or shower times short, a maximum of 15 minutes, and keep the water warm but not hot. Consider fewer baths or showers. In particular, younger children don’t need baths every day, especially in winter and when the humidity is low.
- Use plain water or a soap-free liquid wash in the bath or shower. You may also add fragrance-free natural baby body wash to baby skin.
- Keep the baby away from cold indoor and outdoor conditions.
- Gently patting dry the baby’s face and avoid rubbing their skin with the towel to reduce friction
- Dress your child in loose cotton clothing if possible, or add a cotton layer under wool or synthetic clothing. Avoid overheating with too many layer.
- Try to make the environment less dry. For example, use a humidifier and encourage your child to avoid long periods of air conditioning and direct heat on their skin.
In taking care of your child it is essential to use natural baby products to avoid skin irritations. Consult your physician for better recommendations.