Skincare Tips For Newborns

9:25 PM, Sep 13, 2012   |    comments
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BALTIMORE, Md. (WUSA) -- Newborn rashes and bumps tend to make a lot of new parents nervous, and they seem to pop out of nowhere.

Most of these rashes are normal, but skin conditions in infants are treated much differently than in adults.  Newborn skin is fragile, so less product use and less scrubbing is key. 

Kate Puttgen, MD of Johns Hopkins Children's Center says, "In general follow common sense in your instincts as a parent but usually less is more."

For starters, products with fragrances are never an option for infants.  Dr. Puttgen says, "The chemicals that are used in some of the fragrance products can just irritate newborn skin, they can absorb the fragrance products and become sensitized to them and that can cause rashes."

Erythema toxicum, also called E-Tox is one of the more common rashes in newborns.  It is very noticable with tiny red and yellow bumps.

Dr. Puttgen says, "It can look very alarming for parents but it's actually incredibly benign in doesn't irritate the child at all."

E-Tox is not associated with infection, just a normal reaction to the bacterial flora on the surface of the skin.

Ultraviolet rays from the sun are extremely dangerous for infants, but sunscreen is not recommended for children under 6 months due to potentially harmful chemicals.

Dr. Puttgen says, "Children since they are not old enough to be crawling, as parents we should be able to keep them out of the sun and protect them with umbrellas, shade, and clothing."

For children old enough to use sunscreen, look for active ingredients like zinc-oxide and titanium-dioxide, which physically block ultraviolet rays.

Dr. Puttgen says, "Those tend to give good long lasting broad spectrum protection and tend to be non-irritating to even young infant and young children's skin."

Even diaper rashes can appear alarming, and serious cases warrant a visit to a physician.  But these rashes are mainly skin irritation from wetness, but they can be fungal infections too.

Dr. Puttgen says, "Generally changing diapers frequently is the most important guideline and then using good bland products like petrolatum jelly or zinc-oxide paste with each diaper change."

Most of these skin conditions are considered normal but there are a few dangerous conditions for infants out there.  If a rash covers most of the body and is accompanied by blisters, this is serious! This can signal one of 5 potentially life-threatening disorders, with skin rash being the primary symptom.

If you see blisters along with skin rash do not touch these blisters, see your dermatologist or pediatrician immediately. 

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