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What You Need to Know About a Newborn's Delicate Skin

When a baby is born, most parents are often confused about newborn skin care. It is very important to understand what’s normal for a newborn's skin. A baby's skin is very delicate and constantly changing in the first two weeks of life. Newborn skin is often wrinkled and covered with a waxy layer called the vernix which naturally peels off. Baby rashes can develop suddenly and can be very frightening for new parents. 

 Some normal baby rashes may develop secondary to excessive spit-ups, drool or heat. If you see tiny white bumps that appear around the face at birth, this is called Milia. Neonatal acne is also very common and usually occurs between 3-6 weeks of life and self resolves within a month. Erythema toxicum and pustular melanosis are harmless rashes with red dots with white or yellow centres, that also self resolve in the first two months of life. 

A baby with sensitive skin may develop dry skin and rashes after coming in contact with certain substances. For instance, babies may have a skin reaction after using skincare products which contain synthetic dyes, scents or other chemicals. A baby may also have a skin reaction if exposed to clothing or blankets that are washed in irritating detergents or made with strong dyes and colours. 

Routine baby care may involve using hypoallergenic, non toxic, fragrance free of perfumes, dyes and chemicals which can irritate the skin. Sun protection is also important. Avoiding the sun is the most effective, but you can use clothing, hats and stroller covers to protect a newborn's skin from direct sunlight. Sunscreen should be avoided in the first 6 months of life. 

Some simple steps to prevent diaper rashes 

-Change your baby's diaper as soon as they urinate or have a bowel movement. 

-Dry your baby's skin thoroughly and apply a natural skin protective cream.

-Minimal use of commercially available wipes.

-Use water to clean the diaper area after a bowel movement.

Seek medical advice if your baby’s rash is accompanied with fever, lethargy or decreased feeding. All non-blanching rashes should be consulted with your doctor.

In conclusion, most babies will develop rashes, dry skin, or other skin conditions during their first few months of life. If your baby has sensitive skin, they may develop reactions from substances. Avoiding the triggers and using simple, clean organic ingredients can help prevent rashes from coming back. It is important to keep the skin clean and well moisturized.
By Daman Johal Bagga, MD


Fletcher, J. (2020, September 29). How to Know If Your Baby Has Sensitive Skin. Healthline.
Davis, J. L. (2008, August 8). Baby Skin Care: Tips for Your Newborn. WebMD.