Understanding Baby's Skin
Your little baby's delicious young skin can be at once her most gorgeous feature and her most troublesome one. After all, it's rare to find a baby who hasn't had at least one bout of diaper rash (if not many!), an encounter with heat rash or eczema, or some other skin-related worry before her first birthday. You might have other concerns too: infant acne, a birthmark, or a rash that appears over and over again.
Fortunately, most of these things are easily treatable, especially when your child is still young. After all, her skin -- like the rest of her -- is a work in progress!
Your Baby's Inheritance
Skin issues "absolutely run in the family," says Robert Brodell, MD, a dermatologist in Warren, Ohio. Whether your baby has trouble-free skin or suffers from rashes, he has his parents to thank! If problems do crop up, baby's pediatrician can handle most of them. In a few cases, you may be referred to a pediatric dermatologist -- for instance, if your child has chronic eczema or hives (both often caused by allergies) or chronic diaper rash, a skin specialist can help.
They're Not Adults!
Babies don't need the kind of fussy skincare regime we may use. Rinsing baby with warm water and, at most, a mild baby soap -- not an adult cleanser -- is all that's needed. Baby moisturizers (we like ones from Johnson's and Baby Magic) are nice if baby's skin seems dry, but are otherwise not necessary. Same thing with baby powder: Cornstarch-based powders are useful for drying oily or wet areas, but not every baby needs them.
Never use a product with such adult-only ingredients as salicylic acid or retinol, because some of what goes on baby's skin is absorbed into his bloodstream. To be safe, stick with products sold in the baby aisle, unless directed by a physician.