Moist, healthy skin for your bouncing baby

dr. Arini Astasari Widodo, Sp.KK
dr. Arini Astasari Widodo, Sp.KK. Photo: ABDI WALUYO HOSPITAL

Jakarta, IO – A study published in the Archives of Dermatological Research 2017 confirms that baby skin is more sensitive than adult skin, because the outer epidermal layer (the stratum corneum) in babies is much thinner; it produces much less natural moisturizer and lipid than adults; and it absorbs and loses moisture much faster. Dermatologist dr. Arini Astasari Widodo, Sp.KK, went on to remind that baby skin is consequently much more vulnerable to various factors that trigger irritation. Therefore, parents should choose products that can satisfy the needs of their baby’s skin, as well as serve as protective barriers for it. 

“Once born, the baby’s skin will adapt to the environment. As baby skin tends to dry out easily, parents should choose safe products with a balanced pH (5.5) and non-allergenic formula, dermatologically tested to not cause irritation, and containing no paraben or other coloring agents to prevent baby from catching dermatitis atopic. Various studies show that topical products containing colostrum extract are potentially beneficial for the skin,” said dr. Arini in the “Pure Baby: The First, The Precious One” webinar held on Thursday (17/03/2022). 

Fingertip Unit Method 

“Colostrum” is the first milk generated by mammals during the final stages of pregnancy up to several days after birth. It is pale yellow, thick, and rich in nutrition. It’s usually the first thing newborn babies consume after birth. In various in vitro tests, cow colostrum helps improves the baby’s dermatological barrier and reduce evaporation rate, helping to keep it moist. Products containing colostrum, vitamin E, and zinc oxide are proven to keep baby skin soft and healthy, and avoid red rashes from moist diapers and hot air. 

To care for baby skin, parents only need to use cleaner and moisturizer, plus sunscreen, once the baby turns six months of age. “Babies do not need any type of oil on their skin. You must also use powder only, according to their condition,” she warned. 

Apply moisturizer on their skin using the “fingertip unit method”: use one finger tip’s worth of cream for their face and neck, another for their arms and hands, another for their thighs and legs, and one and a half finger tip’s worth for the entire front of the body. “Use moisturizer every time the baby is done bathing to lock in water, and to prevent their skin from drying and catching dermatitis atopic,” she said. “Use lukewarm water to bathe your baby. Pat them dry using a soft towel, especially in the folds of their skin, instead of rubbing them dry.” (est)