How to take care of the baby's skin

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As soon as it is born, the baby has very delicate skin, because it is thin and still lacks the protective coating of fat that will form over time.

It is a skin used to being in contact with water and not with the air: for this reason it needs some time to 'learn' to protect itself in the new environment.

The important is always treat her with respect: we must yes clean the newborn, but without using too aggressive products that could damage its fragile protective barriers.

In this article


  • Baby bath and body creams 
  • The skin of the face 
  • The fabrics
  • Changing the diaper 
  • 10 tips to protect the skin of babies

Baby bath and body creams

For the bath - which must be short and in lukewarm water - foaming products with surfactants should be avoided. Instead, i oily cleaners, more delicate.

After each bath, a veil of moisturizing cream should be applied to the body: hydration is essential to ensure proper development of the skin barrier. Which one to choose? As products for the skin care of newborns and infants, it is better to focus on specific ones, to be purchased preferably at the pharmacy, as they are more tested.


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The skin of the face

Every day, after bathing, in addition to carefully moisturizing the baby's body, you can also protect his face with a good moisturizer specific to his skin type.

La light it is very beneficial for the little one, which is why it is important to take him out for a walk during the day. Before going out, especially in cold seasons, it is necessary to cover the most fragile areas well and use a specific cream for babies to protect it from environmental factors that dry it out. Hypoallergenic products must always be chosen and tested under dermatological and pediatric control.

Read also: How to protect the baby's skin from the cold

If it is sunny, in winter but especially in summer, it is good to apply one SPF 50+ UVA and UVB resistant sunscreen. In summer, however, it is recommended not to expose the child to light during the hottest hours.

The fabrics

The choice of tissues that will come into contact with the epidermis is very important to protect the skin of the newborn. "Again those are recommended natural and soft, avoiding synthetic and rough ones "specifies Scavello." Go ahead then a cotton, silk and eventually wool for babies, which is super soft. This is for the fabrics that come into contact with the baby's skin. For the rest, you need common sense: if you have a soft fleece blanket, there is no problem putting it on top of it to warm it up. "

Read also: Going out with the baby in cold weather, the advice of the midwife

Changing the diaper

The most delicate points on the baby's skin are those in contact with the diaper. The little ones need to be changed often, but without being obsessive. The ideal is to rinse the skin withlukewarm running water: if the little one has run out, you have to clean the little ass and genitals with a mild detergent, otherwise just water is fine. After it is important dry it immediately, dabbing without rubbing, because humidity makes germs proliferate. Pay particular attention to the folds of the scrotum in boys, where stool residues may remain. As for the females, however, always clean them from the front towards the bottom to avoid bringing the dirt towards the genitals.

Read also: The pacifier: what is it for, when to give it and when to take it off?

10 ways to protect newborn skin

How to take care of the baby's skin in the best way? Here are the indications given in the latest issue of "A Scuola di Salute", the digital magazine of the Bambino Gesù Institute for Child and Adolescent Health.

Tips to follow.

  • The healthy skin of newborns and infants does not require the use of specific products, and to take care of them the first advice of the experts is to do not abuse it, because they could cause irritation and promote allergies.
  • Then, another tip is to use specific products available in pharmacies, as they undergo more tests, avoiding commercial ones.
  • To make the little ones relax, helping to remove the residues of environmental pollution, the third indication is that of give them a nice bath, even daily and for a short time, with warm water and oily detergent.
  • In case of dry skin, In addition to emollient baths, it is recommended to use moisturizers as well to balance the skin barrier and relieve itching. 

Things to avoid.

  • Better to avoid foaming cleaners e prefer products without surfactants.
  • Some products used a lot by adults they can be harmful to children. Avoid applying creams or disinfectants, even the most common type, if you have not asked the pediatrician for advice first.
  • Then avoid the excessive use of emollient creams or pastes (such as those with zinc oxide) for the diaper area: applying thick layers, at each change and on healthy skin, contributes to skin maceration, promoting irritation and infectious complications.
  • Avoid using wet wipes for hygiene: should be avoided. The doctors of the Infant Jesus remind us that it is best to replace them with tap water or no-rinse detergents.
  • Last thing to avoid, the use of "natural" products, especially oils for hydration of the body, because they have not been tested on children. Some even alter the skin barrier and cause folliculitis or irritation.


In general, to prevent dermatitis, the doctors of the Infant Jesus suggest following some simple guidelines: change the diaper frequently, cleanse the skin when the area is dirty, avoid the autonomous use of antiseptics, do not apply emollient creams and pastes if the skin is healthy and, if necessary, apply a thin layer 2 times a day.

Also, you shouldn't consider every nappy area dermatosis as candidiasis (so don't always use antifungal cream) and strictly avoid the use of topical cortisone. 

Read also: Children's dermatitis, how to recognize and treat them

Questions and answers

What products should be used for the baby's bath? 

For the bath, foaming products with surfactants should be avoided. Instead, oily detergents, more delicate, should be preferred.

Which fabrics should be preferred for drying the newborn? 

Natural and soft fabrics are better, avoiding synthetic and rough ones. Green light therefore to cotton, silk and possibly wool for babies, which is very soft.

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