Baby prone to dry, itchy skin? Here's what might help during chilly season
Brought to you by AVEENO® Baby
No one likes dry skin and babies are no different.
Dry, itchy skin and eczema-prone skin occurs much more commonly in childhood. So, as a parent, it's always reassuring to know what's out there to help and what to do if you think your child is developing a skin condition.
As we move into the colder, windier months, with the air getting drier, dry skin conditions can flare-up. While dressing our little ones in warmer clothes, it's important to note that these can often contain irritants like harsh synthetic materials or wool, leading to further skin discomfort.
So what can we do to help our child's skin remain healthy?
Usually, the skin's barrier helps maintain water so that the skin is nice and moisturised, helping to protect against allergens and irritants. Without an intact barrier, skin can become dried out and more vulnerable to infections.
If your child has frequent dry skin that is red and itchy and sometimes becomes blistered or crusted, they are most likely suffering from eczema and should be taken to a healthcare professional to get it looked after. Eczema affects one in 12 adults in Ireland but that number rises dramatically during our younger years, affecting around one in five children1.
AVEENO® Baby recently conducted a survey which found that 80 percent of children with eczema visit a healthcare professional at least once a year to get eczema-related advice, with 18 percent going every one to three months2.
Of children that have a skin condition, 61 percent of parents claim that their child's dry or irritated skin would flare up at least once a week, with 11 per cent saying that it can last up to five to seven days. That's an entire week of discomfort for baby.
So what causes dry skin?
If you have a child that has a skin condition, it may come as no surprise to hear that certain laundry products, stress, and a high pollen count were three of the most common triggers mentioned in the survey.
However, there are many different factors that can trigger dry, itchy skin.
Your baby may develop a breakout if they are teething or particularly sweaty. If you have a pet, dander may be a cause. Lack of sleep, mould, or certain soaps can also be triggers, so pay attention to your child's environment and keep an eye on what they are coming into contact with that may cause irritation.
Commenting on the AVEENO® Baby research, Children's Nurse and Professional Skincare Consultant Paula Moriarty, said:
"Skin conditions such as dry and irritated skin, sensitive skin and eczema can be a stressful experience for parents and children. However, it is great to see that two-thirds of parents we surveyed who have children with eczema are aware of the benefits of using topical emollients and we know that parents who have children with skin conditions are well-informed, with 65 percent stating they can differentiate between eczema and the likes of dry or irritated skin."
What can you do?
If you think your child may have eczema or if they are having frequent skin flare-ups, the first thing to do is take them to a healthcare professional. They may prescribe some medication to help alleviate the symptoms.
There are a few extra steps you can take to try and keep your little ones' skin free of irritation: bathe your children only two or three times a week so as not to dry out or irritate their skin and make sure to use a gentle wash while doing so; use a Zinc Oxide cream when changing nappies to create a proper moisture barrier; keep babies/children out of the sun when possible and moisturise them every day using an emollient.
AVEENO® Baby, the award-winning baby skincare brand, has just released their new Dermexa range to cleanse and moisturise babies with dry and itchy skin.
The range was created using oats and ceramides, with the oats helping to provide fast and effective relief from dryness and irritation and the ceramides helping to strengthen the skin's natural barrier and lock in moisture.
The Goodnight Emollient Balm intensely moisturises for long-lasting comfort, while the Daily Emollient Cream is clinically proven to moisturise and soothe to help protect against very dry, irritable skin. Finally, there is the Moisturising Wash which will gently cleanse your little one's skin without drying out its natural barrier.
The AVEENO® Baby Dermexa range is specially formulated for very dry and itchy skin and is clinically proven to soothe and hydrate even the most sensitive dry skin. It is also suitable for little ones with eczema-prone skin. This means there's one less thing for a parent to worry about and three more things to help your tiny tot feel comfortable in their own skin. It is now available in pharmacies nationwide.
Brought to you by AVEENO® Baby
For most up-to-date stockist lists, please see www.aveeno.ie/where-buy.
1Irish Skin Foundation: https://irishskin.ie/eczema/
2Research was conducted through an online survey across a nationally representative sample of N=567 parents of dependent children. Research was conducted amongst members of Empathy Research's proprietary research panel. Fieldwork was conducted from 28 June - 5 July 2019. Of those surveyed, 223 reported having children with a skin condition, with 162 having children with eczema.