When you’re a parent, the one fact that quickly becomes obvious is just how sensitive your baby’s skin is. We’re talking rashes, lumps, bumps and birthmarks - it's a lot to take in if you've never had to deal with it before.
So, sometimes we need to call in the experts to help us figure it all out.
Dr Li-Chuen Wong is a consultant dermatologist specialising in both adult and paediatric dermatology, as well as being the co-founder of Sydney Skin. She also heads up the dermatology department at the Children’s Hospital, Westmead and lectures at The University of Sydney. It’s safe to say she knows her stuff about skin.
So, Mamamia checked in with Dr Wong to find out the most interesting and helpful things you need to know if you're caring for a baby's skin. Some of her responses might even surprise you...
FACT #1: A baby’s skin is very delicate.
Dr Wong noted there are a few main reasons why a baby’s skin is so fragile.
“The first is the structure of their oil glands, and their sweat glands haven’t come to full maturity. They’ve also not been in contact with any harsh elements so their skin is still very virgin like.
"They’ve got a greater surface area to body ratio too, so placing creams on them will penetrate more than if it was placed on an adult,” she said.
“Their skin by nature is sensitive due to these factors. If you apply harsh irritant creams and soaps and you don’t moisturise, their skin will be affected.”
FACT #2: Healthy baby skin shouldn’t be scaly or red.
Dr Wong said baby skin should generally look a certain way if it is healthy.
“It should be generally of a pinkish colouration which means that there’s good vascularity,” she said. “It should be plump so if there is any sallow skin (or skin that’s lost its natural complexion), that’s a sign of systemic issues and you should consult a doctor.”