The baby's skin is ultra-sensitive

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The skin of the newborn

La suckling skin it is incredibly delicate, warm, tender and fragrant, but also particularly sensitive. It is five times thinner than an adult's skin and still cannot defend itself well against bacteria and other environmental "attacks". But with the right care for babies' skin it becomes more resistant day by day and soon creates the protective shield against external "attacks": light, cold and heat.

Because baby skin needs protection

  • The sebaceous glands are still not working well. Babies don't have any protective grease on their skin yet (that is also why they smell so good!). The consequence: babies' skin quickly loses moisture and dries up.

  • Babies' skin does not produce melanin. And since the body's own protection from the sun is lacking, children should not be exposed directly to its rays (this also applies to winter!). Their skin is so thin that the substances in the creams can enter their bodies through the skin. For this reason, experts advise against putting sunscreen under six to eight months. Up to 24-36 months, babies should be exposed to the sun for short periods and in any case only in the early morning or late afternoon. For protection, you can have them wear loose, lightweight long-sleeved shirts, or have them stay in the shade. Which cream to use? If the baby's skin is healthy, that is, he does not have atopic dermatitis or a contact allergy to certain substances, the cream used by mum and dad can also be used (as long as they are tested products), otherwise a specific line is recommended for children indicated for atopic skin; in case of contact allergy, it is necessary to show at the pharmacy or perfumery the list of substances to which the child is allergic and choose a product that is free of them. 

  • The sweat glands aren't working yet. The ability to sweat and thus to cool the skin has yet to develop; only from the third year of age the little body is able to regulate the temperature. First it is important that the little ones do not get too cold or overheated. Check the nape of the neck to see if the temperature is right. Hot and sweaty means: take off your jacket! Check often and make sure your baby drinks a lot.

  • The skin of babies lacks the protective acid mantle. And this protects the cells from harmful "environmental attacks", bacteria and fungi. Baby's skin has a neutral pH value. Only after six weeks does the pH become acidic, and the skin more resistant.

  • Baby skin cells need a few months to connect with each other. For this reason, the skin of babies is relatively permeable: also as regards dyes and whiteners from clothes. Prefer natural fibers. All fabrics should be washed at least once, if not twice before wearing them for the first time.

Care that is good for baby's skin

  • Cuddles and caresses they are the best care for the skin, stimulate blood flow and increase resistance.

  • Bath water? Beware of too aggressive bubble baths. The important thing is to use suitable, non-aggressive, non-foaming detergents or with perfumes, which can irritate and dry the skin. Better to bathe only with water or with mild oily cleansers.

  • Dry skin folds well, but don't rub! Because the lower layers of the skin are not yet well formed, and therefore could be easily injured.

  • Creams and lotions: put the cream where the skin is dry. In cases of redness, use an ad hoc product.

  • Straddling naked entertains babies, the stimuli of fresh air also promote the growth of cells in the skin and make it more resistant.

Article from, the first German magazine for parents

Related articles:

  • Children's dermatitis, how to recognize and treat them

  • Diaper rash

  • atopic dermatitis

  • Cradle cap of the newborn

  • Childhood psoriasis

  • Ichthyosis in children

Read also: How to protect the skin of the newborn and The golden rules for the hygiene of babies and children

  • first year
  • skin
  • skin care
  • sensitive skin
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