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Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Common Infant Skin Conditions and How to Deal




Entering into the world of parenthood can be an overwhelming venture. The number of things you have to remember and take care of can seem vast, but when it comes to skin problems on your little one, we’re here to help. In this blog we’ll share a few common skin conditions that most infants experience and what to do about them.

Common Infant Skin Conditions:
Intertrigo
Occurs most often in babies younger than six months old

What is it?
Intertrigo is an irritant dermatitis that often surfaces as a red, raw and sometimes oozing rash that is found in babies’ skin folds, primarily in their chin and neck areas. It is caused by excessive moisture (normally from excessive drool or spit-up) that has collected in your baby’s skin creases that are not directly exposed to air. This rash can lead to bacterial and fungal infections and should be monitored regularly.

What are the treatments?
We recommend keeping the area as dry as possible by blotting the rash. Never rub it! Using a hair dryer on the low setting with cool air is another way to air-dry the irritated spot. We do not recommend applying ointments, which can lock in moisture and encourage the development of a bacterial infection.

Cradle Cap
Occurs most often in babies younger than six months old

What is it?
Cradle cap, known in the medical world as infantile seborrheic dermatitis, is a rash that can appear on your child’s scalp and eyebrows. It can also appear behind the ears or on the neck, cheeks and chest. Cradle cap is often compared to dandruff due to the rash’s dry, flaky nature. The cause of the dandruff is unknown, and it doesn’t normally cause discomfort to infants.

What are the treatments?
Cradle cap often goes away on its own. If your child is experiencing a more severe case, try washing the scalp with baby shampoo once a day. Make sure that all the shampoo is rinsed off of the baby’s scalp to prevent more drying of the skin. 

Eczema
Begins to show in babies older than six months old

What is it?
Eczema is a chronic skin condition that appears in dry, itchy patches on your baby’s skin. In some babies, the rash can also appear red and weepy. Some infants experience mild eczema and others have more serious cases, but it’s rarely dangerous, as 20 percent of all babies will experience some form eczema. It is most common in children with a family history of eczema. In infants, eczema most often appears on the cheeks, forehead and scalp, as well as on the elbows and knees, the body parts most commonly used in crawling.

What are the treatments?
Unfortunately, there is no cure for eczema, but there are ways to ease your child’s discomfort. We recommend a short, warm bath with unscented soap. You should also moisturize your child’s skin two times daily with a cream or ointment to help seal in moisture. Other treatments, like steroid ointments, are available for older children, but they are not ideal for infants.

Contact Dermatitis
Occurs in infants of all ages

What is it?
Contact dermatitis occurs when the skin becomes irritated by something it has come in contact with. Grass, jewelry, soaps and detergents are a few common culprits. The rash can be red and mild or it can be harsh, forming large oozing bumps. In infants, the rash is most often caused by drool or wet or soiled diapers.

What are the treatments?
The rash will normally disappear after a few weeks, but it can also be treated with common ointments used to treat diaper rash, like A&D cream.

If you have any questions about any of these skin conditions, click here to visit our website or call 901-759-2322.

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