Monday, July 18, 2005

Baby's Dry Summer Skin

by Christina VanGinkel

Babies are susceptible to dry skin. Keeping baby's skin moisturized is all-important. With this summer ending up as being one of the hottest on the record books, this is more important than ever. Summer task such as bathing more often and spending time at the lake or in the pool, are often the culprits. With my grandson visiting this past weekend, I was reminded how some daily tasks that we often take for granted with infants and toddlers can lead to the drying of their delicate skin.

When my grandson arrived at my house Friday evening, my daughter asked if I would make sure and give him a bath as he had spent a good portion of the day doing what two year olds do, playing outside in the dirt and in and out of his small wading pool. After a late meal and some more time spent outside in his swing, we headed inside to fill the tub with both water and toys. After his bath, I dried him off and put lotion on him. By the next morning, he was scratching away, actually leaving marks along his waist where he was intently scratching. I tried to remember if I put lotion all over and after coming to the conclusion that I was unsure, I pulled the lotion back out and made sure to apply another layer on him from head to toe.

When I asked my daughter about it that afternoon, she reminded me that with the heat and with him being in and out of the water both in his wading pool and at the larger community pool, which also is chlorinated, his skin was overly thirsty for moisture. She said that while he needed a bath the night before, if I did not think he really needed one the following night, to skip it. She said that she only bathes him about every other day, as he is prone to dry skin to begin with, and with all the extra moisture stealers that come with summer, she often just washes him up with a warm washcloth in the evening before bed. She also applies sun block on a regular basis, and a chap stick to his lips that also has a built in sun block.

While not every child's skin will be as dry as my grandson's will, some kids may be even more prone to drying and cracking. The best way to deal with this is to limit any activities that you know dry them out (lots of baths and time spent in pools) and to moisturize their skin on an as needed basis. Be careful not to use products that are aimed more at adults that may also contain additional fragrances. These often will cause more problems than they will fix, as delicate skin can often be irritated by these added ingredients. If their skin is overly dry and nothing you do seems to alleviate their skin's drying and even cracking, make an appointment with your pediatrician to rule out any underlying conditions that could be contributing to baby's dry skin.

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