They get sturdier, bigger, start to roll around and sit up, and just generally become proper little ‘people’.
So when a skin condition comes along and irritates that beautiful skin, it can take us by surprise. They’re bigger now - why is something bothering them that didn’t before?
different variables cause baby skin conditions
Skin conditions in babies can arise for multiple reasons, be it a change in the weather, a product you’re using or their diet. However, if you are ever worried about your baby’s skin, always consult a healthcare professional like your doctor, pharmacist or health visitor.
We take a look at six common skin conditions so you can see what to expect and suggestions about how to manage them.
6 common baby skin conditions
Contact dermatitis is characterized by red, itchy skin, which comes about after skin has come into contact with something that has irritated it – such as certain soaps or detergent – or something that it’s allergic to, for instance latex or nickel.
“I would have never thought a fairly harmless skin condition would have such an impact, but when Emmie had contact dermatitis she could just not sleep at all because of the scratching,” says Dad, Ed. “She was obviously then grumpy during the day, so we just couldn’t be bothered to go out or do much and all just felt a bit miserable! But we stopped using bubble bath and bathed her less too, and then it cleared up, so now we know she obviously just has sensitive skin.”
While it’s not easy to see your baby in discomfort, once the irritant/allergen has been established, you can avoid it and the rash should clear up on its own. However, if you are concerned, always speak to your doctor or pharmacist. For more information on contact dermatitis, read our blog post, here.
Officially another form of contact dermatitis, nappy rash looks like red, painful bumps on your baby’s bottom. It’s very common and can be really hard work for baby and parent because you obviously need to clean their bottom regularly, but the ‘wiping’ can be uncomfortable for them.
Nappy rash is really common and can come about from many things such as sitting in soiled nappies a little too long, or from using a baby wipe that doesn’t agree with their skin.
This is where WaterWipes can help - created by a father who was concerned about his own daughter’s nappy rash, they are made from 99.9% water and a drop of fruit extract, making them the world’s purest baby wipes.
Atopic eczema causes red, dry and flaky skin. According to the NHS, the causes are unknown but there are often ‘triggers’ such as certain soaps, detergents and foods, which once recognized can then be avoided. For more information on eczema, read our blog post, here.
According to NHS advice, cradle cap - yellow, greasy flakes on the scalp – isn’t irritable to babies, it just doesn’t look great! But, it should generally clear up on its own.
“We never really noticed Henry’s cradle cap when he was a baby and just assumed it would clear up on it’s own,” says mum, Louise. “But he was coming up to two years old and it was still there, so we started to pay it a bit more attention. I looked online and it recommended just gentle scrubbing in the bath and brushing out with a soft brush. He’s two now and still has it but it’s definitely fading off.”
Heat rash or ‘prickly heat’ happens when skin gets hot and sweat glands get blocked, and appears as red bumps, often on the back and bottom. However, the NHS advises that. applying something cold like an ice pack wrapped in a towel should help calm the rash, but you can always speak to your pharmacist if further treatment is needed.
Red bumps that appear on the skin are known as hives, and can come about if your baby’s skin has come into contact with something, for instance, sap from a certain plant, or when they’ve eaten something they’re allergic to.
“Reuben came up in hives when we first introduced cow’s milk,” says Dad, Alex. “We went straight to the doctor’s who prescribed us allergy relief, which we now carry with us at all times, and when he’s a little older we’ll have a full allergy test. Obviously it’s not ideal, but if we know what he reacts to and how to deal with it then we should be fine.”
The rashes described here are usually nothing to worry about, but if you are concerned about a rash on your baby’s skin, always consult your GP.
eczema: NHS, Atopic Eczema causes, https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/atopic-eczema/causes/, last accessed 7 August 2020
cradle cap: NHS, Rashes in babies and children https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/rashes-in-babies/, last accessed 7 August 2020
heat rash: NHS, Heat rash (prickly heat), https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/heat-rash-prickly-heat/, last accessed 7 August 2020
hives: NHS, Hives, https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/hives/, last accessed 7 August 2020