Your baby skincare questions answered!
Your newborn's skin is very important and is the biggest organ, and in the early days it is vital that it's healthy and taken care of. Because what matters most to your baby is your love, you can rest assured that Pampers will take care of the rest as NEW Pampers New Baby Sensitive provides Pampers' best ever protection and care for your newborn's skin.
With 58%* of mums believing that their baby's skin is in some way or very sensitive, Pampers New Baby Sensitive is the first nappy to be accredited by the Skin Health Alliance so that mums can trust that their little one's skin will be protected.
We asked Gurgle mums to put their baby skincare questions to Pampers new 'Love, Sleep & Play' panel consultant dermatologist Dr Tabi Leslie.
Dr Tabi Leslie is a Consultant Dermatologist and is a General Adult and Paediatric Consultant at The London Clinic and Harley Street. She studied Medicine at the Royal Free Hospital Medical School, University of London and trained in Dermatology at University College and Middlesex Hospitals.
She also practices for the NHS as an Honorary Consultant at St John's Institute of Dermatology, Guy's & St Thomas' Hospital, London and as Consultant at Barnet Hospital, dealing with all skin problems.
Pampers has created a new nappy designed for delicate newborn skin – Pampers New Baby Sensitive. The nappy contains up to 50% more skin care ingredients* and a touch of aloe which help to ensure baby's skin stays soft and moisturised.
Dr Tabi answers your questions.
Q: How often should a newborn be bathed?
A: Usually newborns are bathed daily, however, every other day is acceptable. Just ensure that you wash their face, hand and napkin area on a regular basis during the day – this is known as 'topping and tailing'. When bathing, it is always advisable to avoid drying the skin out by using a bath oil, moisturising wash and immediately after the bath, apply a moisturiser. The skin should be patted dry rather than rubbed to avoid aggravating any peeling or skin rashes.
Q: When choosing baby skincare products, what ingredients should I avoid?
A: It is advisable to choose products that are hypoallergenic, fragrance free and designed specifically for babies' skin which may help prevent rashes or dryness.
Q: My toddler suffers from eczema which sometimes seems to be aggravated by sun screens- what advice can you give?
A: Sunscreens all contain a variety of different ingredients. Always choose a suncare product which is designed for babies' skin which will have been formulated specifically for the needs of babies and children. Look for sunscreens that contain titanium dioxide or zinc oxide. It is always best to try a different range of sunscreens to see which suits the skin best as each individual's skin will vary in sensitivity.
Q: Should I be wary of irritation from chlorine in public pools when going to baby swimming class?
A: Chlorine in swimming pools is a frequent cause of dry skin and irritation in babies. Some pools have less chlorine than others as well as some pools use different agents in the water instead of chlorine. To avoid reactions it is always advisable to apply a moisturiser prior to entering the water. Immediately after taking your baby swimming their skin should be rinsed with a moisturising wash. Patting the skin dry and applying a moisturiser will help further.
Q: We're using E45 on little one's dribble rash, it seems to take care of it but not sure if this is ok as a long term cream for use on his face?
A: If the cream you are using is effective and not causing a reaction then long-term use is acceptable as long as it does not irritate the skin over time.
Q: What would you suggest to help with chicken pox scabs- tried everything with my first and now my youngest has it!
A: If the chickenpox lesions have formed scabs and these are still on the skin, then this indicates that they are protecting the new skin underneath the scab. It is therefore advisable not to remove the scabs from the lesions as this can make them more likely to scar. If the scabs are very dry they can be itchy so a bath oil, moisturising wash and moisturising gently can be extremely helpful. If you are still concerned it is best to mention this to your GP or health visitor.
Q: I have an allergy to anything that is fragranced, how likely is it that my baby will be the same as me?
A: Sensitivities to fragrance are extremely common in the general population and in individuals with eczema. For babies, fragrance is usually best avoided as sensitivities can develop especially if there is a family history of eczema. Therefore, if you are allergic to fragrance I would advise you to avoid using this on your baby so I recommend using hypoallergenic fragrance-free products for as long as possible.
Q: My niece's cord stump always looked uncomfortable, is there anything I should do when my baby is born to prevent discomfort? Apparently there's no feeling but they do catch on nappies.
A: The health visitor will check your baby's cord stump for infection or any other causes of discomfort in this area. If the skin is normal, then ensuring the area is clean and well moisturised should avoid any further problems. If your health visitor is concerned they will refer you to your GP.
A: Sensitivities to dairy products and eggs are common and it is now believed from recent research that if the allergy is mild, exposure to small amounts may result to a reduction in the sensitivity. As the child grows the reactions should become less obvious. If your GP is concerned then they will investigate and possibly refer to an allergist and a dermatologist. De-sensitisation is now a technique used in certain situations by hospital specialists.
Q: Thumb sucking has caused some dry skin on my 3 year old so I would like to know if there is a way to stop it.
A: Thumb-sucking is often used as a comfort by toddlers and the dribble can lead to dry, cracked skin. It is advisable to use a moisturising wash when cleaning the hands and a moisturiser to the thumb on a regular basis.
Distracting the child when they feel the need to suck their thumb is a useful technique during the day. This can take the form of play and activities, at night it may be useful to encourage the toddler to have a safe toy to take to bed with them and cuddle. If the problem persists your GP will be able to advise further.
Q: At what stage is it ok to start using mild soaps rather than plain water for cleansing?
A: Plain water is not advised for cleansing as without using an emollient in addition it can dry out the skin. A moisturising wash should always be used when cleaning with water and a moisturiser should be applied immediately afterwards. Antibacterial, antiseptic moisturising washes are available and can be tried if needed.
Q: Is it possible that my washing powder is irritating my baby's skin?
A: If the washing powder contains biological agents or fragrance then this can cause dryness and irritation of the skin with time. It is always advisable to look for fragrance free, non-biological washing powders to protect your baby's skin from irritation.
Q: I always suffer in the winter when we have to put the heating on, what's the best way to prevent my son's skin dehydrating in his first winter? Is it better to have a cooler nursery at night time?
A: Central heating can reduce humidity in the air leading to dryness of the skin. To protect your son's skin keeping him warm with clothing is preferable. Avoid using water without also using a moisturising wash to clean him. Try and use a bath oil and moisturise his skin regularly during the day and night to form a protective barrier against the dying effect of the environment.
Q: Should I worry if cradle cap hasn't disappeared by 4 months old?
A: Cradle cap is extremely common in young babies and even in toddlers. It is a form of dry skin and eczema. If your baby's cradle cap persists then it is useful to use a bath oil, a moisturising shampoo and even oils overnight onto the baby's scalp itself. Your health visitor will be able to advise you on the best products. Try a variety until you find one that is effective for your baby. If the cradle cap is troublesome or sever then your GP may make recommendations for specialist shampoos to be applied to the scalp.
Q: My mum swears by salt in bath water to help calm inflamed conditions- any truth?
Unfortunately bath salts and salt can dry the skin and lead to further inflammation and sensitivity of the skin to other creams. The best addition to bath water is a moisturising oil in addition to avoiding soap and using a moisturising wash after which a moisturiser should be applied to act as a protective barrier. If the skin is inflamed then the GP may advise medicated creams which may help.
To learn more about Pampers New Baby Sensitive visit their site at pampers.co.uk.
*compared to New Baby nappies