With the highest possible probability a young mother will read this article on how to care of baby’s skin so that it stays soft, gentle and healthy. Mom of a child under the first year of age. Happy mother, but terribly exhausted by pregnancy, childbirth, child’s whims, a chronic lack of sleep and tips of relatives.
Even very sleepy and very tired woman watches sometimes TV that regularly shows bottoms of two kinds – women’s and children’s. Both types of demonstrated bottoms generate an irresistible desire to have exactly the same ones.
Women’s bottoms are not the subject of our discussion. If you want – go in for sports, keep your diet, fitness, massage – everything depends on you.
Baby’s bottom is gentle, velvet, smooth … It’s not a bottom, it’s a dream! No spots, no acne or irritation. No pain, no itching, no rash. It makes you happy!
But what if your child’s bottom is not that kind? There are easy solutions of this task but, paradoxically, the state of baby’s bottom depends only on you, or rather on the conditions you create for your child.
Let’s talk about all these: the conditions and peculiarities of children’s skin, about possible problems, and their solutions.
Basic peculiarities of baby’s skin
1. Child’s sweat glands are not properly developed, and the younger child, the more manifested this underdevelopment is. As a result – the child is experiencing great difficulties with heat transfer through sweat, therefore he does this (gets rid of excess heat) through the lungs. Dry and warm air does not allow transferring heat fully via the respiratory system, load on the immature sweat glands is dramatically increased and the skin is damaged as a result.
2. The top layer of the children’s skin (so called Horny layer) if compared to the adults’ one, first, is considerably thinner and, second, is not firmly connected to the other (lower) layers of the skin. As a result, children’s skin is easily damaged – even minor physical and chemical effects are enough. A large number of blood vessels and an active metabolism create conditions for a rapid healing, but recovery is possible only when the factor, caused skin damage, is eliminated.
3. Children’s skin is rich in fats (lipids) which are the solvents of various substances that could potentially damage the skin: they penetrate into the skin, dissolve the lipids, and cause inflammation.
Enemies and friends of baby’s skin
Let’s start with the most significant factor – the air the baby breathes.
The paradox is in the fact that correlation between the air parameters and skin conditions is not obvious at the first glance. Nevertheless, dry and warm air is the greatest enemy for children’s skin – the load on the imperfect system of thermoregulations is significantly increased in a dry and warm air. Active blood circulation in the skin is activated even more, immature sweat glands are working hard, and as a result – the skin’s sensitivity to external damaging factors is increased dramatically.
The optimal air parameters in the room where a healthy term baby under one year of age lives, are: the temperature is about 20°C and relative humidity is 50-70%.
If the air is dry – use humidifiers, if it is hot – ventilate the room and close the radiators. Never forget that cool air is not the reason the child is cold. The essence of the “optimal parameters” is in the fact that as the child adjusts heat mainly with the lungs, so he needs cool moist air, but mandatory warm clothing that protects the baby from hypothermia.
But if it’s not easy to maintain the recommended air parameters, if it is still warm and there is no way to moisturize the air – this does not mean that problems with the skin will appear. This only emphasizes the importance of proper skin care, elimination of other harmful factors and active use the good ones. It is necessary to know friends and enemies of the skin, so let’s list them.
• Overheating – heat, extra clothes, hot water while bathing.
• Dry air – heating systems, air conditioning.
• Mechanical skin damage – rubbing against clothing, crawling on carpets, carelessness while performing hygiene procedures, and so on.
• Chemicals that contact with the skin – disinfectants, detergents, chlorinated water, fabric dyes, synthetic fabrics, substandard facilities designed for skin care.
• Soap – a veiled enemy. It is only necessary to wash the mud water and wet wipes can’t wash away. Its harmfulness can be reduced by choosing a liquid soap designed for children’s health.
• Urine – first, nitrogen compounds (e.g., ammonia) that are its part.
• Feces – irritating effects of multiple enzymes + effect of bacteria on the already damaged areas of skin.
Warning! All of these hazards repeatedly reinforce the damaging effect of each other!
Urine + feces are a brand new harm, since the compound of fecal and urine is accompanied by the formation of many hazardous substances that can damage the skin much more actively than solely feces or urine.
• Devices that control air parameters – a thermometer and hygrometer.
• Radiators with regulators.
• Air humidifiers – steam, ultrasonic.
• Clothing of high quality – that matches baby’s size, does not damage the skin, is made of natural materials, colored with dyes, washed with special wash powders for kids.
• Absence of clothing – yes, that’s right! Even the best clothing is just a way to adapt to life in non-human (physiologically unnatural) conditions. Contact of skin with the air (at least occasional one) – is useful and necessary, it is not just the solution to many problems, but also their prevention.
• Wet hygienic wipes – the safest way to clean dirt and feces away from the skin (if quality of water flowing from the tap is not the best).
• Water pollution filters.
• Baby’s skin care products – the ones that moisturize or dry the skin, contribute to restoration of damaged areas, protect from wind or mechanical damage, and so on.
Thus it is possible to make a logical conclusion: healthy skin doesn’t need care products. If the skin is dry – apply a moisturizer (oils, creams, lotions, balms). If the skin is wet – use powder. If there are real damages – healing remedies will help. And if everything is ok – you don’t need to use anything. Nevertheless it is impossible to raise a child in a complete isolation from damaging factors. Air, water, household chemicals – where can we hide from them all? That’s why it makes sense to regularly use hygiene products that increase the stability of child’s skin to the action of many damaging factors.
For example if you are going for a walk and it is windy and cold outside. The child has a healthy skin, but protective cream applied on the face will significantly reduce the appearance of problems.
Always care of the nails – both your and baby’s ones. Choose special scissors for kids. And remember 2 rules:
1. better cut them more often, but not very shortly;
2. on the hand cut them in a semicircle, on the feet – flatly. It is necessary to perform all the procedures related to healthy skin care once a day – after bathing.