My child has dry skin – what can I do to keep their skin healthy?
- by Petra Jelinkova
Dry skin is an uncomfortable condition where the skin becomes itchy, scaly and starts to crack. Looking after your child’s skin may take a lot of time and can be stressful, especially seeing them in pain from scratching so much. It can happen for a number of reasons, and is important to remember that managing dry skin by using effective skincare products such as oatmeal bath soaks and a good moisturiser in a regular skincare routine will help keep your child’s skin healthy. With some children dry skin can be harmless, but for others if the skin is not regularly moisturised it can trigger skin irritation, itchy skin and eczema.
What can cause my child’s skin to become dry?
- Cold weather – Skin tends to be driest in winter, because of the dry air, cold temperatures and low humidity, making dry skin and eczema flare ups common. Using heaters and fireplaces during winter may also contribute to low humidity and drying of the skin.
- Hot weather – During hot weather, your child will sweat more to try and regulate their body temperature, causing water loss from their body and drying out their skin. This can break down the skin’s natural barrier, making it harder to keep bacteria and irritants away from the body and increase the risk of infection.
- Harsh soaps and detergents – Many available soaps, detergents and shampoos contain harsh chemicals that help remove oil from the skin, but can also strip the skin of moisture.
Where on the body is dry skin common?
Most dry skin is caused by environmental factors such as weather, low humidity and having showers and baths where the water is too hot. Hands, arms, and legs are the most common areas of the body to become dry. In most instances, dry skin can be managed using an intensive moisturiser.
What does dry skin look like?
- Flaking, itching, peeling and scaling of the skin
- Dullness and redness of the skin
- Rough patches on the skin
- Grey, ashy skin with cracks that if left untreated can bleed
What can I do to help my child’s skin?
Using a hydrating as well as cleansing bath soak to add moisture into your child’s skin during bath time will add moisture into the skin and coat the skin to prevent water loss. When you take your child out of the bath gently pat their skin without drying it completely. Then moisturise immediately while their skin is still a bit damp. Moisturise their skin again in the morning to protect it during the day. Choosing to moisturise their skin with an ointment, like our itchy baby co. moisturiser, rather than a cream or lotion will work better for dry skin. This is because it stays on the skin for longer to lock in hydration and stop water escaping from the skin’s surface.
This blog post was brought to you and your family with love and care from Julia and the itchy baby co. team x.
Disclaimer: Information provided is of a general nature only, and you should always consult your medical professional.