In the first week or two, your newborn is going to lose the first layer of their skin. It’s perfectly natural and happens with every baby, but unlike flaking skin in adults, this early flaking isn’t necessarily caused by dryness. In fact, it’s likely caused by the amniotic fluid in the womb.
Your newborn’s skin will peel more if they were born later-term, as they’ll have been covered in less of their vernix caseosa, the waxy coating that protects their skin from growing irritated in the womb.
Growing into it
Skin is the largest organ, and it relies on a lot of other systems to function properly. But during those first few months, these bodily systems aren’t functioning at an adult level quite yet. This makes it difficult for newborns and younger infants to regulate their own body temperature. Maturing sweat glands and a slowly improving circulatory system will eventually help your baby better control their body temperature, but until then, their skin will be prone to irritation, overheating, and excessive dryness.
There are a few things that are likely to be causes of dry skin, and they’re kind of unavoidable. The heat of evaporating bath water can actually wick moisture away from your baby’s skin. And if you’re in a cold climate, your newborn’s skin might need some extra moisture as heated indoor air is usually dry.
Heading to the outdoors isn’t much of an escape either. Whether it’s from a dry heat, cold wind, or humid air, your newborn is likely to develop some skin irritation from too much time outdoors.
- Eczema: Typically caused by the immune system having a reaction to some kind of stimulus, it can be hard to diagnose and pinpoint the cause of eczema. One estimate is that 10% of babies develop some form of it, so be ready to help your baby work through the discomfort of these itchy, dry, red patches.
- Cradle cap: Not to be confused with eczema, cradle cap is a skin dryness that doesn’t cause serious itching. It typically presents as yellowish, dry, flaking skin on the scalp, armpits, or around the ears.
- Contact dermatitis: Newborns are thin-skinned…literally. They’re more sensitive than adults, and sometimes common ingredients or materials can cause irritation. Things like fragrances, dyes, and clothing that rubs or has metallic buttons can lead to dry skin.
What you can do about it
When it comes to soothing an uncomfortable baby, it can sometimes feel like nothing you do works. Thankfully, for dry skin, our partners at Shea Moisture have an answer.
They created the Raw Shea, Chamomile & Argan Oil Collection of certified organic products designed to calm and comfort your newborn’s delicate skin. Organic Raw Shea Butter and Argan oils deeply moisturize and soothe dry, itchy skin to keep your baby calm and comfortable. Chamomile serves as a natural anti-inflammatory to help relieve irritation.
Included in the Raw Shea, Chamomile & Argan Oil Collection is a baby eczema therapy designed for the most sensitive, irritated skin. It’s great to see a solution for babies that need it most. They also have a Fragrance-Free, Gluten-Free Collection for newborns and babies who are sensitive to smell.
Inspired by and tested on their families for four generations, never on animals. If you’d like to learn more about their family-owned company, and the Raw Shea, Chamomile & Argan Oil Collection, tap the button below.
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