Baby, It's Cold Outside!

Winter Woe: Her Skin is Dry and Itchy

Running the heat can dry out your child's skin -- the last thing she needs if, like approximately 10 percent of babies, she has eczema, says Seth Orlow, M.D., Ph.D., chairman of the Ronald O. Perelman Department of Dermatology at the New York University School of Medicine, in New York City. A few precautions can keep her complexion in the clear.

Limit baths to under ten minutes and use lukewarm water. Soap can be irritating, so instead try a mild hypoallergenic cleanser free of dyes and fragrance (such as Dove Sensitive Skin Nourishing Body Wash or Aveeno Baby Wash & Shampoo). Pat her dry with a towel, then apply a hypoallergenic lotion or cream (such as Aveeno Baby Daily Moisture Lotion or Mustela Hydra B?b? Body).

Before you head out, slather an unscented emollient (like Aquaphor Baby Healing Ointment or Vaseline Petroleum Jelly) on her face and lips to protect her from harsh winds. If her skin still looks red or remains dry despite your efforts, check with your pediatrician, who might recommend a prescription treatment such as a topical barrier enhancer (EpiCeram, perhaps) or cortisone cream.

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