I’ve mentioned a few times that my daughter has very dry and sensitive skin. From birth, we have been dealing with one skin condition or another and I wanted to write this post because I know a lot of mums can relate to my frustration when it comes with baby skin issues.
As a new mum, I was unfamiliar with a lot of the skin conditions babies are born with or develop soon after birth. I’d heard of conditions like eczema but because I’d not had an direct connections to it, I was pretty much ignorant about it. My daughter had surely changed that in the last five months.
I have quickly learned that it’s perfectly normal for babies to develop rashes as their skin is sensitive from birth, however what I have always done and would always advise any mummy to do is to seek help if you’re worried. Sometimes what may look like a simple rash may be the beginning of something more serious like meningitis so always seek help if you’re concerned and/or unsure. You would not believe the amount of GP calls and visits I have made in the past five months but peace of mind is everything and to be honest I’d rather annoy my GP and Health Visitor than take any chances with my baby’s health and wellbeing.
Now that the disclaimer is out of the way, here is my list of the most common rashes to grace your baby’s skin:
1. Baby Acne – I was very shocked to find that my baby’s skin wasn’t as perfect as I’d expected when she developed acne. I honestly thought it was a puberty issue exclusively reserved for teenagers and above but the joke was on me, clearly! Baby acne came in the form of pimples on my baby’s cheeks, nose and forehead. I have to admit it got worse before it got better but although initially I thought I had to buy some super cream, I was advised and also found out from experience that the acne clears out within weeks. I kept her face clean with just water and cotton.
2. Cradle Cap – this is the bane of my mummy existence, for real, for real! I didn’t know what cradle cap was prior to having a baby. Imagine my horror when I saw scabs on my newborn’s head. That, coupled with the acne, I was certain I had failed as a mummy. I will dedicate a whole post on cradle cap and how to treat it because by now I’m a bloody expert but for now, I’d describe it as whitish/yellowy scaly patches on the head and forehead. This appeared after her first month and has been affecting on and off ever since. I treat it by putting coconut oil and brushing it off with a soft brush.
3. Eczema- this is more of a long term condition and when my daughter’s skin problems first started, I initially thought that it was eczema but fortunately for us it wasn’t. Eczema causes the skin to become itchy, red, dry and mainly affects babies and children but can continue into adulthood. It’s not curable but there are special creams and ointments to help manage this condition.
4. Nappy Rash – this is an irritation of the skin and will most likely affect 99.9% (I made up the stats) of babies. A nappy rash is caused by prolonged exposure to wee or poo. I try to change my daughter every 2/3 hours and normally leave her without a nappy for a few minutes after every change so her skin dries off properly. I swear by Sudocrem for her nappy area. It’s important to note that fungal infections can also cause a nappy rash.
5. Heat Rash – because my daughter was born in November and because my African family are allergic to the cold, my mother-in-law would make me turn up my radiator to full mode. I kid not, that’s the first thing she’d do when she came to visit and vice versa ( she still does)! I know she means well and of course babies get cold but they also can get over heated and get a rash as a result. A heat rash flares up when a baby sweats, signalling blocked sweat glands. They appear as tiny reddish bumps. They tend clear up soon enough on their own but I also use baby powder on her chest abs neck because the girl can dribble!
There are many more rashes that affect newborn and babies in general but these are the ones that I’ve personally experienced so it’s only fair that I don’t write about something I have no knowledge of or experience in. I’d love to hear from other mummies who have similar issues with their babies skins and other rashes that may affect babies that I haven’t mentioned.
Also, the best thing that has worked for my daughter’s dry skin so far is ZeroDouble emollient and Shea butter. The more common Cetraben cream didn’t work for her but a lot of mums swear by it for dry skin. I get my emollient free from the pharmacy on prescription and use it a few times a day when I spot a dry patch on her skin.