Baby skin is a very delicate skin. Until the age of 2, it is immature and needs extra-special care especially in winter, when all skin tends to suffer. Mustela has the ideal solutions to keep your baby’s skin healthy and happy through the chilly season
Ever wondered why cold, dry winter air can cause eczema flare-ups and other skin irritations? The reason: the air around us is generally drier in winter than it is in summer (indoors heating is an aggravator, and anyone living through a Gauteng winter knows this all too well). This causes the skin to dry out. Then, the fluctuation in temperature between outside and inside as we move in and out of the house causes our skin to dry out even further. Baby skin is immature and can’t keep itself hydrated as well as normal, more mature skin, so it needs help – MOISTURE, PROTECTION AND SOOTHING – with the right skin care to stay healthy, especially in babies. And with different skin types, this need is even more critical.
1. Identify baby’s skin type
The first step in treating your baby’s skin is identifying their skin type and condition, then you can make sure you use the right skin care to keep it moisturised and happy.
If you’re blessed with a baby who has normal skin, then continuing your regular routine with a bit of additional moisturisation is all you need in winter.
When your baby’s skin show signs of not being ‘normal’, it’s not quite that simple to diagnose… Atopic (eczema-prone) skin can be dry and sensitive, and most sensitive skin is dry, but it doesn’t mean that all dry skin is sensitive! It can be very confusing and frustrating for parents to know which steps to take.
When in doubt, especially if your baby is showing signs of skin irritation or allergy, consult your paediatrician or dermatologist for a proper diagnosis.
Here are some basic symptoms to look out for in figuring out what your baby’s skin needs.
If you suspect your baby has eczema or sensitive skin, get a medical confirmation as soon as possible.
Dry skin lacks oil and is a genetic trait that is likely to last throughout your baby’s life. Dry skin looks dry and rough, and can be accompanied by slight itching and flaking. It is easily treatable with the use of effective nourishing products.
Get great information about dry skin from Mustela here.
Sensitive and very sensitive skin is skin that reacts to certain ingredients at certain times, and can be caused by genetic or allergic conditions. From birth, the skin of some babies may be more sensitive than others, and overreacts – seen as reddening – to stresses that are usually well tolerated by normal skin. Things like environmental factors (temperature changes, sweating, wind), chemical stresses (dyes, detergents, hard water) or even rubbing from their nappy or clothing can set them off. The baby may also feel discomfort (tingling and tightness sensations).
One in three children have very sensitive skin, according to dermatologists. Identifying products, ingredients and irritants that cause the reaction is the key to managing this type of skin. Luckily, if you remove the sensitivity trigger and use the right soothing products, the skin will calm down.
Find out more about this skin type here.
Atopic dermatitis (atopic eczema) is a serious skin condition that can occur at any age, but is very common in babies and young children, usually manifesting by three months and before the age of 2.
If one parent has eczema, the changes are that that baby will have about 35% chance of having eczema. If both parents have it, the risk rises to between 50 and 80%.
It is basically a skin barrier disorder that causes inflammation of the skin, making it swell, crack and itch. Unfortunately, even if you remove the inflammation trigger, the skin will continue to overreact.
Eczema is easy to identify because it manifests in the form of red, irritated patches of skin, most often in high movement areas of the body like the bend of the elbows, behind knees, on eyelids and along wrists. The risk of infection is high due to the urge to scratch the irritated areas, so this must be avoided as much as possible. Many cases of eczema persist into adulthood, and sufferers often experience flare-ups in colder weather.
Mustela’s excellent information on atopic skin is very useful. Read more here.
2. Start your care programme
Mustela is Europe’s No. 1 brand, dedicated to healing and protecting your baby’s skin. They have a range of products to treat each condition as quickly and effectively as possible, harnessing and combining the very best of nature and technology.
If your baby has ATOPIC ECZEMA…
it is vital to restore the skin’s barrier as quickly as possible. The Mustela Stelatopia range is clinically proven to soothe and repair atopic-prone skin, and has been tested under dermatological and paediatric control.
Mustela Stelatopia Cleansing Cream is the best cleansing option for highly stressed skin. It has been designed to form a soft foam when it comes into contact with the skin, gently cleansing without the need for rubbing, which can further irritate the skin. Once rinsed off, the plant-rich formula leaves the skin soothed, cleansed and hydrated.
If your baby is suffering with a flare-up, soothe the skin with an emollient cream like Mustela Stelatopia Emollient Cream. The formula contains innovative natural-origin ingredients to replenish the skin’s lipid barrier to repair and protect the skin from further irritation.
Watch Mustela’s video which gives great tips on caring for your eczema-prone baby’s skin
What you can do to reduce eczema flare-ups
• You can help to reduce flare-ups by avoiding extreme temperature fluctuations. Cover up as much of your baby’s skin as you can when going outside and limit their exposure to air conditioning to keep the skin’s temperature as steady as possible.
• HOWEVER, sweating can aggravate your baby’s skin, causing itching. Make sure you dress your child in layers, with a soft vest underneath, so you can remove the warm coat indoors to prevent overheating and sweating.
• Dry air also contributes to dry skin, outside as well as inside, so use a humidifier in a heated room to keep the air moist.
• Corticosteroid medication is used to treat the inflammatory response when the baby has a flare-up. It doesn’t, however, tackle the actual cause of atopic skin, which is disregulated skin cells. To prevent flare-ups, it’s important to treat the skin with the correct, dermatologically formulated and tested skin care which provides the skin with barrier lipids and builds a stronger barrier to prevent dehydration, as well as soothing inflammation. Mustela Stelatopia uses Sunflower Oil distillate which not only provides barrier lipids, it is also anti-inflammatory and it triggers your own skin cells to produce more lipids.
If your baby has DRY SKIN…
they need Mustela Nourishing range. It has been designed to deliver hydration, beeswax and plant oils to dry skin, keeping it supple and healthy.
To cleanse dry skin, it is important to use gentle, non-drying formulas that keep the skin’s barrier intact. The Nourishing range offers a Cleansing Milk, as well as a nourishing, lipid-enriched Gentle Soap Bar with Cold Cream.
Facial dry patches are common in babies, and the Nourishing Cream with Cold Cream treats and protects this delicate skin. The new formula contains 95% from natural origin ingredients; all designed to nourish, soothe and hydrate the skin without leaving any sticky or greasy residue.
If your baby has SENSITIVE SKIN…
the best option is the Mustela Very Sensitive Skin Soothing range. This range contains soothing actives to calm any irritation and reduce tingling sensations associated with sensitive skin reactions
Exclusive to Le Beauty Club! The Very Sensitive Skin Soothing Moisturising Cream is now here. It is ideal for use on the face and provides immediate, long-lasting relief from skin discomfort.
Instead of abrasive wipes, cleaning your baby’s bottom area with a gentle cream cleanser will reduce the risk of irritation and help to keep the area free of bacteria. Mustela Liniment Diaper Change Cleanser contains 99% ingredients of natural origin, including omega-rich extra virgin olive oil, to hydrate and nourish as it cleanses super-gently.
This delicate area can easily be irritated and is prone to flare-ups due to nappy friction and dampness. Mustela 123 Vitamin Barrier Cream, containing 98% natural-origin ingredients, has been developed to target irritation and inflammation at its source. It soothes the skin underneath, and protects it from external irritants, literally forming a protective barrier.
And nap time…
Babies are often affected by severe temperature changes, and stuffy noses can cause disrupted sleep patterns for everyone. Mustela Soothing Chest Rub will not only relax your baby for a good night’s sleep, it also soothes and hydrates any irritated skin as the gentle pine scent helps them breathe more easily.
Enjoy your winter!