Cold and wet outside means that many of us are opting to stay in our warm and dry houses. But have you noticed how DRY, dry can be? Not only on your chapped dishwashing hands but on your sweet baby as well? I think we can all agree that these cold and damp winter months can be brutal on many things, and sadly babies and children are not spared from this. The combination of a cold exterior and forced heat is what causes reduced moisture in the air and in turn, our skin. So, what can you do to fend off the rough skin for your family? Let’s discuss!
Change Up Those Bath Time Routines:
- When it comes to keeping dry skin hydrated, baths are better than showers. But baths that are too long can have the opposite outcome. In the winter months, shorter baths (less than 10 minutes) are better!
- We know it’s tempting to make the bath water hot, but lukewarm water is better for your child’s skin and lessens the urge to scratch!
- Bubbles are a fun part of a bathtime routine – but try your best to avoid them. Bubbles often contain detergents and fragrances that can strip the skin of natural oils and cause irritation.
- An occasional oatmeal or breastmilk bath for children whose skin is extra sensitive can be very helpful.
- Once you dry off your baby by patting dry (don’t rub!) Moisturization from head to toe is key!
What Types of Soaps and Moisturizers Do I Use for Dry Skin?
- Ointments (Tubby Todd All Over Ointment or Aquaphor Baby Ointment are some fan favorites) can be helpful on your baby's dry or irritated skin and help soothe and prevent eczema.
- Be sure whatever soap you use is fragrance-free, deodorant-free, and hypoallergenic. For sensitive and dry skin, it’s often recommended to use non-soap cleansers.
- Creams, which contain oils are also a great option for sealing moisture into the skin.
- Lotions, which often can be confused with creams, are much lighter than other moisturizers. Lotions are typically better for warmer months when skin isn’t as dry as they contain more water than oil.
Helpful Hints: Apply moisturizer to damp skin right after bathing while the skin is still moist! When it's not bath time, get the skin a little damp before applying for the best results. Cotton-based clothing right after using a moisturizer can help protect the skin and seal in moisture.
Minor Changes That Can Go a Long Way:
- Give “free and clear” or sensitive skin laundry detergents and dryer sheets with no fragrances, dyes, or perfumes a try. We know how tempting the delicious smells can be, but many scents are unregulated and can be irritating!
- Wash all new clothes before putting them on your children!
- Again, cotton-based is always best for dry skin – not just for clothes, but for your sheets as well!
- *Humidifiers* As you may know, heating in the winter creates dry air and low humidity…and dry air creates dry skin! A whole-house humidifier or a room humidifier (especially in baby’s room) helps add moisture to the air.
Helpful Hint: Remember to clean your humidifiers many recommend it every 3 days but please check with your specific brand!
We hope this guide helps any concerned parents out there. Of course, if your child has severe dry, irritated skin, and you do not see any improvement – please contact your trusted pediatrician!
For more information visit, HealthChildren.org!Allied Physicians Group is a partnership of more than 150 dedicated, caring physicians and 350 highly trained support staff. We offer pediatric care, family medicine, and other specialties at our practice locations. Allied Physicians Group offers clinic locations in Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island, Nassau, Suffolk, Westchester, Rockland, and Orange Counties. If you are looking for a physician near you click here, or for more information, please visit: https://alliedphysiciansgroup.com.