Monday January 27 2014

Taking care of baby skin

By Alexandrina Nakanwagi

The skin of a newborn baby is very fragile and highly sensitive. Therefore, mothers always need that extra care, not to tamper with a baby’s skin, especially if it is a new born. Dr Francis Asiimwe, a dermatologist at Amber Medical Care in Kiwatule says that one way to take care of a newborn baby’s skin is to keep it hydrated, and free from any possible triggers of irritation.

He explains that babies, up to the age of six months, are bathed every day largely to preserve the natural oils that are produced by their skin. But he warns that frequent baths wash away these oils leaving the baby’s skin dry. Sponge baths are recommended until the umbilical cord falls off to avoid infection. Thereafter, a mother can bathe her child in a tub of water.

Dr Asiimwe advises mothers to ensure the temperature of the bath water is just right. Water that is extremely cold or hot causes skin irritations for the baby.
Most mothers use very hot water, but that is not good for the baby. The water used should always be lukewarm,” he says.

Products to use
Mothers should also pay close attention to the products they use on their baby’s skin. These could range from soap to creams, or even the diapers they use. Dr Jane Achan, a paediatrician at Mulago Hospital recommends baby skin products that are neither scented nor have dye because fragrances and dyes have been known to cause skin irritation.

“It is better to use clear Vaseline, because the coloured ones such as the yellow or pink Vaseline’s have dye that could cause irritation for the baby,” she explains.

Although newborn babies are prone to several skin afflictions, most of them disappear over time. Some babies get heat rush when they are too warm, or exposed to too much heat.