If you’ve just had a baby, or if you have a young child who seems to always have sensitive skin, you’re probably looking for ways to help them. It can be really frustrating when your child’s skin is constantly sore and dry, and it’s hard to know what to do about it. Here are some tips for treating sensitive skin in babies and children, covering everything from using the right soap to taking care of eczema flare-ups.
Up to 20% of children in the world have eczema, according to the American Academy of Dermatology. Eczema is a chronic condition that causes the skin to become dry, itchy, and inflamed. Many babies who have eczema eventually outgrow it, but it can be difficult and sometimes painful to manage in the meantime.
Even if your child does not have eczema, they are likely to have some type of skin sensitivity. It is extremely common for babies and children to have sensitive skin. In fact, it is estimated that up to 40% of infants have some degree of skin sensitivity.
If you have a baby or young child with sensitive skin, whether it is eczema or skin that gets a little red or dry sometimes, you’re likely to be looking for solutions. No-one wants to see their child suffer, and when things like eczema flare-ups happen, they can be difficult to get under control again. What you’re actually looking for is a way to keep your child’s skin under control to start with, so that problems don’t even occur.
Here are some tips for treating sensitive skin in babies and children.
Soften Your Water
If the water that comes out of your taps is hard, that means it contains a high level of minerals. These minerals can dry out your skin, so if you have sensitive skin, it’s best to use softened water for bathing and washing. Many people decide to get a water softening system installed in their home, such as this water softener system Los Angeles. The benefit of getting it installed in your home is that all the water you use will be softened, so it will be gentle on your skin as well as your hair and clothes. Soft water is also better for your home’s infrastructure, such as your heating and plumbing systems, and some of your appliances.
Use Creams and Bath Emollients Regularly
If your child’s skin is dry, itchy, and inflamed, you should be using emollients and creams regularly to help soothe and protect their skin. Emollients are moisturizing products that can help to hydrate the skin and prevent it from becoming dry in the first place. Bath emollients are products that you add to your child’s bathwater, which help to moisturize their skin as they bathe. Look for products that are designed specifically for eczema-prone skin, and make sure they do not contain ingredients you don’t want to expose your child’s skin to, such as parabens.
Creams and emollients should be used every day, even when your child does not have an eczema flare-up. This will help to prevent their skin from becoming dry and irritated, and will make it less likely that they will have a flare-up in the first place. Many doctors recommend finding a regime of creams and emollients that work for your child, and sticking to it until they are at least four years old.
And if your child tends to get skin problems after swimming in a treated swimming pool, apply their cream before they swim. This can act as a barrier to protect their skin.
Choose The Right Soap
The soap you use on your child’s skin is important, especially if they have sensitive skin. You want to make sure you’re using a soap that is designed for sensitive skin, and that does not contain any harsh chemicals or fragrances. You also want to make sure you’re not using too much soap, as this can dry out the skin. Just a small amount of soap on a washcloth should be enough to clean your child’s body. When it comes to their hair, you can use a mild baby shampoo. Sometimes you need to trial a few products before you find one that suits your child’s skin. Ask companies for small tester bottles to help you decide, and to prevent waste from buying large bottles of soaps and shampoos that are no good for your child.
It’s important not to overwash your child if they have sensitive skin. This will only dry out their skin more and make it more likely that they will have a flare-up. Just two or three baths a week should be enough, using lukewarm water and a small amount of soap. You can also top up their baths with some colloidal oatmeal, which can help to soothe the skin. After their bath, make sure you pat their skin dry gently, rather than rubbing it. And apply a moisturizer to their skin while it is still damp to help lock in moisture.
If you follow these tips, you should see an improvement in your child’s skin. If their skin does not improve, or if they have a severe flare-up, it’s important to see a doctor or dermatologist. They will be able to prescribe medication that can help to clear up your child’s eczema. Sometimes skin flare-ups can be caused by an allergy to a type of food, so they can help you rule this out too. Plus they will be able to give you more specific advice on how to care for your child’s sensitive skin according to their particular symptoms.