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Early years

26th Jun 2018

TV3’s Dr Sinead Beirne shares her go-to cure for baby’s sensitive skin


Brought to you by AVEENO® Baby. 

They’re the most precious to us, so of course, they deserve the very best of everything.

Babies suffering with dry, flaky skin is common. So firstly, it’s important not to panic, but at the same time, it’s important to nip it in the bud as soon as you can.

Dr Sinead Beirne, a mum of two (both under the age of two, and another on the way!), practising GP and face of TV3’s Doctor in the House said;

“We now know that if you treat babies dry skin with a good emollient (skin softening product), you can prevent allergies like asthma and hayfever further down the line potentially.

Presenter and mum Lucy Kennedy at the Aveeno Baby launch with Dr Sinead Beirne

“Sensitive skin is an epidemic in babies now. From three months of age you’ll see it.”

Dry, sensitive skin can lead to irritation and inflammatory lesions, that cause intense itching, discomfort and sleepless nights. Not ideal – as the one thing parents miss the most is a good nights sleep!

The first thing to note is that baby’s soft, beautiful skin is very different from ours as it doesn’t fully mature until the age of two. Until then, their skin is much thinner, allowing more materials to enter and leave the skin.

“Water leaves their bodies much more readily than in ours. Transepidermal water loss occurs, so they’re more vulnerable. They go from being in this lovely liquid environment when in utero, and then after birth, being in a drying environment.

“The skin has many functions one of them being a barrier to bacteria getting into our bodies – that’s really important. And when someone has very dry skin, that barrier can break down.”

Dr Beirne explained that it’s not entirely known why sensitive skin conditions are becoming more common, but there are theories suggesting we’re mad about hygiene, making babies particularly vulnerable.

Whatever the reason though, there’s good reason to repair dry or damaged skin in babies ASAP when you notice it.

“We call it an ‘atopic march,’ where you start with dry skin as a baby and then you go on to develop asthma and hayfever. They literally march from one condition to the other.

Aveeno Baby range includes Daily Care Hair And Body Wash (€6.99), Aveeno Baby Daily Care Moisturising Lotion (€6.99) and Aveeno Baby Daily Care Barrier Cream (€7.99)

“If that skin barrier is broken, it’s so important that you emolliate, emolliate, emolliate. Otherwise they’re at risk of getting an allergy to peanuts, eggs, cow’s milk or nuts later on.

“Water is drying and soap is a brilliant cleanser, but it’s also quite drying, so what you really need is a liquid cleanser emollient. Research shows that you need a good cleansing lotion, with a PH that keeps skin neutral.”

And that brings us to the paediatrician tested Aveeno Baby range. Utterly soft and soothing, the biologically active colloidal oatmeal and oat essence within the range nourishes skin (even mamas!), hydrating it and drawing water towards it.

Dr Beirne says that even with a baby who has normal skin, Aveeno products are brilliant as they cleanse without being harsh and are entirely safe and easy to apply.

“Have a routine of moisturising baby twice a day. If they have normal skin, you can do a little spot clean, if they have dry skin, bathe them each day with the emollient wash in the bath (for around 10 minutes), and moisturise them twice a day too.

“If their patches are persistent, absolutely go to your GP – they might need a steroid for about 10 days to really repair that barrier.”

Brought to you by AVEENO® Baby.