Dr Alice Rudd and her team see patients of all ages. Today we asked Dr Rudd about the most commonly seen skin conditions in young children and the best advice to manage this. Especially with the pending arrival of her own child!
Why is children’s skin so sensitive?
Eczema/dermatitis/atopic dermatitis is the most common skin condition in kids. Mostly eczema presents before the age of 2. Commonly children with eczema will have a family history of eczema in a parent or older sibling who have been treated for eczema. Eczema in children can present from birth and has the appearance of red dots or red patches commonly in the elbow and knee creases. In some cases the eczema is related to allergy. Eczematous skin is dry and sensitive, with a very often impaired and immature skin barrier.
What SkinCare is best for Children?
Fragrance -free and non -soap formulations are best when comes to delicate baby and children’s skin. At this age they are still building up their skin barrier and so it is also best to avoid harsh soaps. Even if they are do not have eczema or dermatitis, it is wise to use a mild soap substitute. Despite popular belief, organic is not necessarily better (it often contains many botanicals which can create skin allergy). Don’t avoid petroleum and glycerin which provide great barrier protection and are very hydrating. Water itself is very dehydrating, so water alone should never be used on the skin. Moisturise baby skin at least once a day, twice if still feeling dry.
When it comes to moisturisers always go for a thicker cream, not a lotion. Even though they are not as easy to spread, they create a better film and hydrate the skin for longer.
What not to do with sensitive baby skin?
Do not overheat babies and children. This causes heat in the skin and more irritation to already sensitive baby skin. This includes not overheating in bed or the bath. Dress in layers that can be stripped off when things heat up. Then as we said keep hydrated at least once or twice a day!
Try to avoid gel or water based cleanser and lotions which can strip the skin barrier and cause further skin irritation and sensitivity.
And if all of this doens’t work…come and see one of our friendly dermatologists who are all experts in baby skin!