Keep in mind that cold, air and heat can rob your skin of its natural moisture in the winter. And if your child’s skin tends to be dry, you will notice that also in the summer it may have some dry areas on your skin. Remember that the summer sun, air conditioning, sea salt, and chlorine from the pool water can all cause dry skin.
What can I do to improve my child’s dry skin?
Bath dries children’s skin because it removes, apart from dirt, the natural oils of the skin. But as long as you take some precautions, even daily baths should not affect your little one’s skin, says Seth Orlow, director of pediatric dermatology at the New York University School of Medicine. Read more: Seafood: The pros and cons of health and beauty
Instead of a 30-minute bath, reduce it to about ten minutes. Use warm water, not hot, and do not use a lot of soap. In fact, Orlow suggests using a fragrance and soap-free cleaning product, which is much less strong than a regular soap.
Let your child play in the tub before bathing him, so he will not be sitting in soapy water for long. And do not leave the bar of soap floating in the tub. It is advisable to avoid bubble baths, or at least limit them to special occasions. Read more: Food and Drink That’s Bad for our Teeth
While bath oils may seem like a good idea, they are not very safe. They can make the bathtub dangerously slippery, and in any case, most of the oils slide down the drain. Applying a moisturizing cream after bathing is a better option.
Apply it moisturizer
Once you finish bathing your child, dry it quickly and gently with a towel. Then apply a moisturizer immediately. Apply the moisturizer minutes after bathing it, it will make it seal with the water that is still on your skin.
When it comes to moisturizers, the general rule is that the more, the better. If your child’s skin remains dry even if you apply moisturizer daily, try changing from a lotion to a thick cream or ointment. Ointments are better to keep skin moist but feel greasy. Use small amounts and apply them very well. The creams, on the other hand, do not leave that feeling greasy.
Consider applying moisturizer to your child twice a day, once after bathing and once during the day. If your child does not have the patience to apply the cream at noon, you could distract him with his favorite song or video while wearing it. If it is a little older, you can let it do it alone. Perhaps including the cream in your daily routine will be easier.
Be careful with salt and chlorine
Chlorine and salt water can make the skin dries even more. After a bath in the pool or the sea, rinse it with water, and then apply moisturizer while the skin is still wet.
Use a humidifier
If the air in your home is dry, use a humidifier in your child’s room.
Keep your child hydrated
Dry skin lacks water. Give your child enough water to replace the moisture that evaporates from his skin. (Read how to get your child to drink more water ).
Keep in mind that drinking lots of water on your own will not solve the problem. It is also necessary to use moisturizer. It’s like pouring water into a boat that has a hole, says Orlow. Without a moisturizer that helps retain water, your child’s skin will not hydrate properly.
Protect your child from environmental hazards
Have your child wear mittens or gloves in the winter to keep their hands from drying out and cracking in the cold and wind. It is important that you take certain precautionary measures to protect it from burns caused by sun and wind, at any time of the year.
Avoid ingredients that worsen dryness
Do not put lotions or perfumes on your child’s skin, and consider using cleaning products without flavors. If your child’s skin is particularly sensitive, you could try rinsing your clothes twice, to remove all remaining detergent.
If you notice that your child has very sensitive skin, do not put tight clothing or scrape. Keep in mind that some fabrics such as wool, for example, are very irritating to dry skin.
If your child scratches a lot, check that their nails are short and clean.
If your child has red areas on his skin that cause itching, you may have eczema, also known as atopic dermatitis. Sometimes eczema goes away after using a regular moisturizer. So it will not be necessary to run to the doctor unless the affected areas do not improve or your child is itchy or uncomfortable.
In rare cases, dry skin may indicate a genetic condition called ichthyosis, which appears as dry, scaly skin, occasionally with redness. This condition is also accompanied by a thickening of the palms of the hands and the soles of the feet. If the doctor suspects that your child has ichthyosis, he will probably refer you to a dermatologist for evaluation and treatment.
The next time you go to the doctor, ask for recommendations for your child’s dry skin. Schedule a visit if you think your child has signs of eczema or ichthyosis (more details in the section above). Also, make an appointment if your skin does not improve with home treatments or if you see some signs of an infection such as a yellow discharge or swelling around a crack in your skin.
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