Having your first baby is a little overwhelming, isn’t it? You leave the hospital with this fragile, tiny creature and there are no instructions. Sometimes we question whether we are actually equipped to be parents. Rest assured, you are. You will learn how to care for your baby like no one else.
To give you a little help when it comes to caring for your precious baby’s delicate skin, here are the dos and don’ts for skin conditions in the first three months.
Babies can show signs of baby acne shortly after birth until about six months old. Baby acne looks similar to adult acne and is caused by the typical causes of acne such as oils, bacteria and hormones. The difference is that baby acne caused by the mother’s hormones and not the baby’s. But don’t worry! This condition is temporary and will go away as quickly as it appears.
- Baby Acne Dos
- Do know that the acne does not bother your baby.
- Do continue to wash your baby’s face with a gentle cleanser such as Baby Pibu’s Bathtime Wash. During bath time, you can first use a baby washcloth without soap around the eyebrows and nose. After doing that, you can lather a small bit of cleanser on your fingertips and clean the acne areas. Finish up with rinsing off gently with water.
- Do know that the acne may appear more severe if your baby has cradle cap (clinically known as seborrheic dermatitis) affecting the eyebrows and face.
- Do use over-the-counter 1% hydrocortisone cream twice daily for one day if you need to get the redness out of the acne for a photo-op or important visits from family or friends.
- Baby Acne Don’ts
- Don’t try to scrub away the acne with a washcloth or other device. Scrubbing will tend to make the redness worse and may actually worsen the condition.
- Don’t use adult acne products with benzoyl peroxide, as these products are usually too drying and irritating.
- Don’t stop breast-feeding to help the acne. The episode of baby acne is temporary and will soon pass on its own.
Babies can begin teething as early as three months old and it can continue throughout the first year. A typical part of the teething process is drooling. All babies are different and some drool more than others. Babies that drool more may encounter drool rash, also known as drool dermatitis. Drool rash typically appears as a red, slightly scaly rash on a baby’s cheeks, and in severe cases it can extend onto the neck. The rash is caused by constant saliva irritating the skin. As you can imagine, the skin is not built to handle lots of saliva on its surface. Drooling will lessen as your baby’s teeth come in and he learns to swallow the saliva more.
- Drool Rash Dos
- Do know that this is also a temporary condition that is typically worse within the first year. It will get better as the baby’s teeth come in and as he learns to swallow his saliva.
- Do try to physically protect the skin throughout the day and especially at naptimes and bedtimes with thick ointments such Baby Pibu’s Hydrating Ointment. Reapplication is key!
- Do know that over-the-counter 1% hydrocortisone can be used twice daily for two to three days to calm down the rash. If not improved after three days or if the rash becomes significantly bothersome to baby, see your pediatrician or dermatologist to ask for more personal advice.
- Drool Rash Don’ts
- Don’t use too many baby wipes on the drool rash as the chemicals in most wipes may further irritate the baby’s rash and skin. Instead, use warm water with a mild cleanser to clean the area. Following cleansing, apply an ointment like Baby Pibu’s Hydrating Ointment.
- Don’t ignore this rash and do nothing as this condition can quickly worsen and become uncomfortable for your baby, especially if cracks develop.
Cradle cap, also known as seborrheic dermatitis, is a common skin condition in babies and usually appears in the first three months. The most common area for cradle cap is the scalp, but it can also affect the eyebrows, nose and ears. It appears as a red, scaly, waxy rash. This condition may appear unsightly, but it does not bother babies—it bothers parents much more!
- Cradle Cap Dos
- Do try to prevent cradle cap with a couple of bath time tips. Use a baby washcloth without soap and your index finger to gently clean your baby’s eyebrows and the areas around the nose and ears. At the end of the bath, apply a gentle cleanser like Baby Pibu’s Bathtime Wash on a soft bristle brush and use circular motions with the brush to clean your baby’s head. These two tips will help prevent cradle cap by physically exfoliating away buildup of oils and flaky skin. For more on giving your baby a bath, check out Dr. Amy’s bath time video.
- Do use a medicated wash with 1-2% salicylic acid, such as Baby Pibu’s Gentle Scalp Lather, to help soothe and treat the affected areas of the scalp. Do not use these products on the face. The salicylic acid is both anti-bacterial and anti-fungal as well as an exfoliating, which will help get rid of the condition.
- Do use over-the-counter 1% hydrocortisone twice daily for one day if the redness worsens and there is a photo-op or important visit from family or friends.
- Cradle Cap Don’ts
- Don’t aggressively pick off the scales caused by cradle cap, even though you will be tempted. Doing this might bother your baby more than the condition itself.
- Don’t use medicated anti-dandruff shampoos on your baby’s face if cradle cap is affecting that area. These are typically too irritating for s baby’s sensitive facial skin.
The Baby Pibu Team hopes you find these dos and don’ts for the most common skin conditions in the first three months helpful. And don’t worry, you’ve got this.