What Causes Infant Dry Skin And How To Make It Better

  • Know how to tell if your baby suffers from infant dry skin 
  • Learn the common causes of infant dry skin and how to treat it 
  • Plus, 6 great ways to make infant’s sensitive dry skin better 
  • Bonus video: Baby Dry Skin Care

Noticing the first signs of dry skin on your infant can be quite terrifying.

Are you looking for information on why this could be happening?

Do you want to find out how you can take care of your infant’s dry skin so that it gets better, and so that this does not happen again in the future?

If you are looking for some useful and practical information that can help you understand the dry skin issues in your newborn and how to take care of it, you should read through the end of this article. We will be covering topics about how you can spot dry skin problems in your newborn, whether this is common and what causes it and also about how you can take care of your newborn’s skin in the best and safest possible way. So, if your newborn is also going through the same issues, or if you want to make sure you can avoid this for your little one, read the detailed information.

How can you tell if your little one suffers from infant dry skin?

Here are some of the signs and symptoms that can help you identify whether or not your infant is suffering from a dry skin condition.

baby dry skin patches
  • Your infant’s skin may start to look too flaky.
  • You could notice some rough and dry patches on different parts of the skin.
  • You may notice uneven texture on the skin on any part of the body.
  • This will be most common on your infant’s face, along with other areas of the body such as the elbows, the knees and generally on the arms and legs. In some cases, you may also notice this excessively on the back.
  • In case the skin becomes very dry, the infant may also develop cracks on the affected areas.
  • In severe cases, there can be bleeding around the areas where the cracks have developed. Also, some infants may develop infection in the cracks and the affected area, in which case there may be some other fluid discharge.

Is it common for infants and newborns to have dry skin?

When a baby is born, he or she usually has skin that looks dry and flaky, and this is a very natural process for almost all newborns and infants to go through. For those babies who are born after the 40th week, the skin starts to peel off almost immediately after the birth, and this can also look a lot like a dry skin issue.

While it does not have to be that all infants and newborns have dry skin, it is very common in most, as there are a lot of environmental and other reasons that could lead to the same.

What exactly causes infant dry skin?

Your newborn’s skin will go through a lot of changes from the time of birth till after a few weeks and sometimes even the initial months after the birth. This is because there are a lot of factors that come into play here.

dry skin on baby face and head
  • When your baby is inside the womb, there are a lot of fluids that cover the baby’s skin. These include fluids such as the amniotic fluid, the blood as well as the thick coating known as the vernix that keeps the unborn baby protected from the amniotic fluid directly touching the skin.
  • After the baby is born, the vernix gets wiped off the newborn’s skin while the cleaning process.
  • Once the vernix is moved from the newborn’s skin, the outer layer of the skin starts to peel off within one to three weeks after the birth.
  • Long Arrow Right
    Depending on whether the baby was born as premature, was born on time or was born quite after the due date was past will also determine the amount of skin that is shed.  

Is dry skin in infants caused by the same factors as in adults?

While a lot of the causes may be the same, the skin on an infant’s body is far more sensitive than that on an adult. As a result, any small environmental or other change that directly affects an infant can lead to dryness on the skin.

Are there any reasons why infant skin is prone to dryness?      

An infant’s skin is extremely thin and sensitive as compared to that of an adult, or even that of a child, and hence it is more prone to dryness.

toddler dry skin patches

Should you moisturize infant dry skin? How, and with what products/moisturizers?

Most paediatricians say that you can use petroleum jelly to moisturize your infant’s skin and prevent dryness. Also, you can opt for moisturizing creams and ointments instead of going for moisturizing lotions. There are various brands that specifically cater to the needs of newborns and infants, so speak to your baby’s paediatrician and find out which one is safe to go for.

While selecting the products for your infant’s skincare routine, make sure you check that they do not contain any fragrances, any parabens or any formaldehydes. Also, it is best to go for products that come with a minimum amount of ingredients.

Should you allow the skin to heal on its own? Without treatment?

If you notice dry patches on your infant’s skin, it is important that you take care of it at the earliest. This will help to prevent the dryness from getting worse, which can otherwise lead to itching, redness, flaking, and even cracking, bleeding or infection.

6 Great ways to make sensitive
infant dry skin better

Here are some of the ways in which you can help to reduce the dry skin issue in your infant:

baby moisturizer for face
  • Keep bath times less in number as well as short. Being in water for too long can actually make your infant’s skin even drier than what it already is. For the first few weeks and months, giving a bath only twice a week is more than enough.
  • Also, do not use hot water but make sure that the water is lukewarm. Hot water can strip the skin’s natural moisture and reduce the natural oils that are present on the skin, and this can make it difficult for your infant’s skin to retain moisture.
  • You should also refrain from the use of soaps or body washes for your infant at least in the first few weeks or months, and only use water to clean them. If you really need to use soap for cleaning your infant, choose one that is a moisturizing soap.
  • Speak to your baby’s paediatrician and use a moisturizing ointment that is specifically meant to take care of dry skin or eczema prone skin in infants. Depending on how dry your infant’s skin is, you can apply it two to four times a day. Make sure to apply it soon after you get your infant out of the water and dry them up, as this will help to retain most of the moisture in the skin.
  • Chevron Double Right
    Use baby laundry detergents and make your baby wear cotton clothes.
  • Chevron Double Right
    If the weather is very dry, use a humidifier in the room.

If nothing helps, make sure to get your infant examined by the paediatrician to find out the best possible way to take care of the situation.



You Might Also Like