BENGALURU: Winter is a challenging time for parents as they get anxious about protecting their baby’s skin during the cold months. Since an infant’s skin is very delicate, the cold weather can be harsh and can lead to several skin problems. Common skin conditions in babies are red, itchy, and dry skin, often resulting in rashes, atopic eczema, diaper rashes, cradle cap, and rough cheeks. These problems are intensified in winters, as the moisture retention is less due to the temperature drop.
Here are a few handy tips to maintain your baby’s skin during winters:
Care for the skin: Since an infant’s skin is more delicate than an adult’s skin, ensure to moisturise the skin liberally. This can help control the itching and rashes caused due to dryness. A daily oil massage not only improves baby’s growth and development but also significantly improves the skin moisturisation. You can opt for a baby oil that soothes the skin and reduces dryness. Olive oil and winter cherry are excellent ingredients that keep baby’s skin healthy.
Winter clothing: Clothing your baby the right way goes a long way in helping maintain his health and skin. Avoid dressing your baby in thick fibres which can cause harm to the skin as the fibre rubs against his delicate skin. This causes irritation. Instead, opt for soft woolen clothes which help keep the skin warm. Keep all the clothes clean and germ free to avoid any skin problems.
Bathe the right way: While a change in temperature tends to dry out the skin, avoid using hot water as it can further dry the skin. Also, hot water damages the skin’s topmost protective layer, leading to less moisture retention. Use lukewarm water to bathe your baby. During extremely cool condition, it is also advisable to bathe newborns once in two days. Using a moisturiser infused with almond oil and licorice (Yashtimadhu) softens the skin and helps retain the skin’s moisture.
Diaper hacks: Make sure your baby is wearing the right diaper size. This prevents diaper rashes that originate from wearing tight diapers. Be sure to apply a diaper rash cream post bath to protect baby’s skin from rashes caused due to friction of the skin and the diaper. Herbs like Yashada Bhasma, almond oil, aloe vera, and nirgundi are antibacterial in nature and effectively soothe rashes.
Taking good care of your baby’s skin, especially in winter, can help reduce and prevent skin conditions like peeling, dryness, and rashes. Be extra careful about the products that you use. Avoid using harsh chemicals on baby’s skin as they can disturb the protective mantle of the skin. Herbs and ingredients like hibiscus, almond oil, aloe vera, chickpea, neem, coconut and olive oil, nirgundi, yashtimadhu, ashvagandha, and green gram promote problem-free skin.
In case the skin problem prevails, ensure to consult a dermatologist.
– The author is an ayurveda expert, The Himalaya Drug Company