Tips for Infant Skin Care during Winter

Winter can be harsh on an infant’s skin.  Frigid air outside can chap and burn an infant’s sensitive skin within a few minutes of exposure while the heat used inside can cause extreme dryness.  In order to balance the scales of healthy skin, there are things that caregivers can do.   Prevention and management are the two main goals when dealing with infant skin care issues.

The best policy for infant skin care in the winter is to be proactive.  Using preventative measures will help ward off any unwanted irritations for an infant.  Preparing a baby’s skin before a problem arises will save an enormous amount of worry and frustration.   Here are a few tips to prevent winter skin problems.

*When taking your infant out into the elements, be sure that every inch of skin is well covered.  Use mittens, hats and scarves to cover areas that regular clothing do not cover.

*DO NOT put anything over the nose or mouth of an infant.  This can restrict air flow and cause suffocation. To protect an infant’s face outside, simply cover the infant’s head loosely with a small blanket and shield them from the blowing wind.

*Use non-allergenic baby products for bathing and diapering.  These products are specially designed without the use of perfumes or dyes.  For an infant’s delicate skin these products work best in preventing unnecessary flare ups of irritation.  If babies’ skin is irritated, choose a warm wash cloth during diaper changes instead of store-bought wipes.

*Use a humidifier in the infant’s room.  Humidifiers add moisture to the air and help to keep skin hydrated.

If an infant’s skin begins to show signs of distress due to cold and heat, there are several over the counter medications that are effective in relieving dry, itchy skin.  Oftentimes, these medications can also be used for treatment of minor windburn and chapping.  Most minor irritations will disappear within a day after application of medication.

If over the counter medications fail to diminish the irritation, there could be a more serious issue.  Some infants have extremely sensitive skin that can become injured or inflamed more often and in more severity.  It is important to discuss with your pediatrician any skin changes your infant experiences for longer than 3 days.  It may even be more prudent to contact your physician within the first day if the rash or irritation seems abnormal.  Dry skin can be confused with mild dermatitis or even psoriasis.

It is always a best practice to seek professional council when the safety and well being of your infant is at stake.  While personal research and do-it-yourself treatments can be useful at times, they should not replace your care provider.



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