Our skin is a window into our body’s internal condition and mirrors the external environment. It’s also our first defense against microbes, chemicals, and UV rays, and regulates our body temperature.
But impaired skin—rashy, raw, red, sores or blisters—is not only uncomfortable, it exposes your baby, especially your preemie, to infection. Using skincare products that are gentle and health-promoting helps new skin grow best.
Newborn skin is much thinner and dryer than adult skin, and highly permeable to anything you put on it.
Thin and delicate preemie skin is even more vulnerable to toxicity. Tiny preemies need all the health-promoting advantages they can get to not only grow but thrive.
But commercial baby-care products—even labeled “natural” or “for baby”—can be composed of chemicals for scent, stability, color, fluidity, absorption, etc. Each one can find easy access to a newborn’s internal systems and potentially cause a host of issues in tiny babies.
Use moisturizing creams or gels made of pure food-grade oils and naturally-derived ingredients to nourish and soothe:
1. Dry Skin
Babies are at high risk of becoming severely dry, and thin preemie skin loses moisture faster than full-term babies.
Over-cleansing, weather, and irritants in toiletry products will exacerbate dry skin, causing cracks, infections, and painful sensitive areas.
If a rash persists for seven days, call your doctor.
All newborns get some kind of rash in the first months, and a painful rash can occur anywhere on the body. Between 6 months and 1 year of age, it often appears in the diaper area, but rashes on the arms, in leg folds, and under the chin are common.
Rashes are often caused by food or environmental contaminants. The best solution to calm redness, treat pain, and prevent infection is to use natural creams, salves, and zinc ointments. Beware of baby care products containing potential irritants like ‘fragrance’, and petroleum by-products that can trap excess heat in the skin and slow healing time.
A soothing but protective Diaper Balm can strengthen the skin’s defensive ability without exposing your baby to environmental contaminants like parabens and synthetic fragrances.
3. Cradle Cap
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Cradle cap is common and painless—it probably bothers you more than it does your baby. Those waxy-looking patches of brown or clay-color skin on the scalp are not painful and can be worked loose by gently massaging the affected area with moisturizing ingredients like cranberry oil and sunflower oils.
To get rid of cradle cap, apply a Nourishing Oil, brush well, rinse clean, and repeat for several days.
Beware of over-cleansing in an effort to remove it all, because that can lead to other skin problems.
About 30% of babies get acne at two or three months of age; it looks a lot like adult acne. Little preemies are even more susceptible to it.
Acne usually disappears without treatment after four to six weeks, but its uncomfortable symptoms can be treated with soothing, calming ingredients such as the rosehip oil and yarrow in BEB Organic Healing Gel, which help reduce inflammation, prevent infection and minimize discomfort.
Always check with your doctor or NICU nurses about any scaly skin condition.
Red and scaly eczema is often hereditary and affects about 10% of babies. It can be irritating, extremely itchy, and lead to infection. Eczematic skin is particularly vulnerable and sensitive to triggers like soy products, cow’s milk, or a particular skincare product.
Determining triggers and minimizing flare-ups can be a long process. Hydrating, organic coconut oil and natural antibacterial ingredients can help soothe outbreaks and prevent secondary infection.
Psoriasis causes skin cells to shed more quickly than they should, making your baby’s skin look red, scaly, and thick. Psoriatic skin is less permeable than healthy skin.
Under the direction of a pediatrician, this condition may be successfully treated—even prevented—with non-pharmaceutical products like BEB Organic Healing Gel then Silky Cream Lotion for powerfully gentle moisturizing.
Applying healthy, skin-building products to your baby is giving love through touch.
Check out the BEB Organic ebook about Mindful Touch for preemies or full-term newborns (and beyond).
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Kim Walls, Activist and Founder of BEB Organic skincare products, has spent years sourcing the purest, most healthful ingredients for her organic newborn skincare line, especially designed with delicate preemie skin in mind.
This is not a sponsored post.