Sometime before her gummy smile was taken by her first tooth, my daughter lost her soft baby skin. Milky cheeks turned raw and red from the slightest chill in the air. Her calves were coarse to the touch, seemingly devastated beyond repair.
It is difficult to see my daughter in discomfort, her skin sometimes so irritated it bleeds. However, though my daughter’s sensitive skin causes her some distress, skin sensitivities can often be so great as to bring young sufferers to constant tears.
Mariela tries to ensure that her daughter's sensitive skin is well cared for. Image: supplied.
For parents who may have never experienced sensitive skin themselves, it can be disorienting reading so much conflicting advice on how to best care for your child’s skin – as it was in our household.
After speaking to sufferers of eczema and other skin sensitivities, and their experienced mothers, I’ve compiled the list below - five rarely-disputed, highly successful tips for parenting kids with sensitive skin.
1. Use dermatologically-tested products.
One in two Australian consumers claim to amend their purchasing habits to accommodate a family member at home with skin sensitivities. Manufacturing companies, now well aware of this, will often have their personal care products dermatologically-tested, and accordingly labelled. Lotions, soap, powders – it is now easier than ever to determine the products that will be kind to sensitive skin, and those that will not.
Beyond personal care products, I always try to be mindful of the products that are going to come in contact with me and my little one’s skin. For me and my family, laundry detergent can be the culprit of irritated and inflamed skin on my young ones. New Cold Power Sensitive contains almond milk, and has been dermatologically-tested. So not only does Cold Power give superior washing performance, but it is now giving me the peace of mind I need when washing the clothes for everyone in my family.
2. Minimise the presence of dust.
Dust is best known to be detrimental to a small body for reasons relating to breathing. In fact, it also wreaks havoc on sensitive skin. Though I know you vacuum your home thoroughly, there are still things you can do to prevent the build-up of dust in your child’s most inhabited environment.
Get rid of fluffy toys that gather dust where they sit. Get rid of excess blankets in bed, the ones pooled at their feet from a month ago when the seasons changed. Constantly change and wash clothes and beddings.
If you rent, look for tiles or floorboards in your next home. Dust cannot get trapped on flat floor coverings, and shows much more than it does on carpet, making it much easier to know when a mop or vacuum is in order. If you own your home, and your toes are currently planted in plush carpet as you read, consider making the change – not to mention, wooden floors never hurt the value of anyone’s property!