Monday, August 27, 2012

Babies can get skin crud

Ah, your delicious newborn—but surprise, babies can get a little crusty and weird.

Their skin is new and falls ill to many, well…unattractive problems.

Children’s dermatologist Kate Puttgen, MD, at Johns Hopkins, says these can freak out rookie parents but are almost always harmless.

Cradle cap, or baby dandruff, is messy—the scales fall all over the place. Apply some oil, wash gently.

Diaper rash is also common. This can be caused by fungus and made worse my stool and urine, which can be irritating and acidic. Change diapers often, wash your hands before and after to keep from transferring fungus to the area. Apply zinc ointment as a barrier to acid. Never use talcum powder. Avoid wipes with alcohol. If it spreads a lot, you may want to call the pediatrician.

If your newborn gets yellow papules surrounded by red skin on the face, body, upper arms and thighs, this is called erythema toxicum,.It will go away in a few weeks.

Keep baby skin care bland and simple. Bathe the tot 2-3 times a week to keep from stripping away oils.

As for sunscreen, these have not been tested in infants—so if you can, use clothing and sunshades to protect the child.

Don’t worry—most of this is nothing. It just looks kinda ew. Wait it out.

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