Newborns with Dry Skin (Not Eczema)

1

The Appearance of a Newborn Baby’s Dry Skin

Many newborns experience issues with dry skin. The skin of a baby is very thin and sensitive. It is not yet developed enough to produce the oils that moisturize the skin. By the time a baby becomes an adult, the skin tissue is fully developed. Just out of the womb, however, newborns are particularly susceptible to dry skin because the oils that moisturize it aren’t yet being secreted. This is why we often see newborns with dry skin or some form of dermatitis. Dry skin can manifest in many forms: redness, flakiness, or a leathery texture.

dry skin on face in babies

The baby dry skin on face is more prominent in the discussion as it becomes visible to all

Editor’s Tip: When can you put lotion on a newborn dry skin

2

Causes of a Newborn Baby’s Dry Skin

There are a number of causes that result in patches of dry skin.

As mentioned above, the sensitivity of a newborn’s skin makes it more susceptible to dry skin because it’s still only at a developmental stage.

Some babies are more likely to have dry skin than others, but all babies are more at risk during the winter months. This is for two reasons: first, the cold, biting wind can wreak havoc and dry out skin. Second, cold weather means more artificial heat indoors. Dry, overheated indoor air is the most likely culprit of a newborn baby’s dry skin problem. The environment absorbs moisture from the air. Thus, the skin of the baby becomes dry, and patches of dryness become visible.

The summer months are not as detrimental to a baby’s skin, but being in the sun too much or for too long can dry out the skin. Similar to winter months, air conditioning to make the temperature cooler indoors can cause patches of dry skin to form.

Generally, then, drastic changes in temperature and humidity in the air are two of the most important causes of newborn baby’s dry skin. Harsh chemicals are an added factor, too; particularly when swimming. Both the natural salt of the ocean and the chlorinated water of an indoor swimming pool can cause patches of dry skin in babies.

3

Is Dry Skin a Symptom of Eczema?

Parents constantly worry about the health and welfare of their baby. First-time parents can be particularly anxious. When a mother or father first notices dry skin appearing on their newborn, they immediately panic and assume it must be the first signs of eczema. Due to being uninformed about the specific symptoms of a host of diseases and ailments, it is logical that parents would react like this. Most people don’t know the technical difference between eczema and dry skin. The reality is, the two are very different. Normal dry skin is just that: dry and flaky. Eczema, however, actually causes the skin to crack and bleed. It looks a lot more like sores than just dry skin. Normal dry skin isn’t painful, but eczema can be very painful. Obviously, it’s hard to tell if your newborn is in pain since they can’t talk yet, but the physical differences alone make it easy to differentiate between the two.

Is it a symptom of eczema?

Is it a symptom of eczema?

There are instances when newborn baby’s dry skin is neglected for a long time and can develop into a mild form of eczema. It is important to moisturize your baby, so their dry skin heals. This doesn’t happen in every case, but it’s always best to be safe.

4

How to Treat a Newborn Baby’s Dry Skin

Bath-time:

Because their skin is so sensitive, it is recommended to bath a baby in warm (not hot) water for between three and five minutes. Hot water causes the skin to seize up, leaving it more vulnerable to damage. Moreover, don’t over-scrub the baby’s skin when you’re washing them. Use a soft flannel cloth and a bath product that is marked as suitable for babies.

Moisturize:

This is the most important treatment for newborn baby’s dry skin.  Make sure not to use any of those cheap or overly fake products; the ones that smell like a woman’s perfume or a man’s cologne. Use something fragrance free and check the label before buying to make sure it doesn’t contain any harsh ingredients. Look out in particular for moisturizing and healing ingredients like coconut oil or aloe vera.

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Baby Magic Dry Skin Therapy Moisturizing Cream, Original Baby Scent, 6 Ounces

Baby Magic

Soften and nourish your baby’s delicate skin with Baby Magic Extra Moisturizing Baby Cream, formulated to provide a deep all-day moisturizer for dry skin. Enriched with Shea butter and almond ...

Start from: $9.99
amazon.com
Product Dimensions

5.2 x 1.8 x 6.6 inches ; 8 ounces

Shipping Weight

1.2 pounds

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Currently, item can be shipped only within the U.S. and to APO/FPO addresses. For APO/FPO shipments, please check with the manufacturer regarding warranty and support issues.

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UPC

075371051401

Item model number

075371051401

I tried this lotion after originally trying the Johnson&Johnson moisturizer, which ended up leaving my baby's skin flaky and dry. This moisturizer worked wonders! I really like the smell, and it didn't dry out baby's skin. We use it after every bath!
August 10, 2014
No mineral oil! Much better for babies (look it up)!
February 10, 2017
We've always used baby magic with our 22 month old and this extra moisturizing cream is so great for his cheeks and hands after his been playingout in the cold. His doctor told us that babies lose 2x the moisture just to the air throughout the day than adults so we slather him up all the time. This is the same great smell of the regular formula. It's really not much thicker either.
February 4, 2013

Temperature:

Don’t go crazy with the air conditioning. In the winter, make the house as cold as you possibly can without it being too cold. Overheating the re-circulated air isn’t good for you, and it certainly isn’t good for your baby. Similarly, in the hotter months don’t make your house as cold as the Arctic circle. Keep things comfortable, but avoid drastic temperature changes when possible. A general reminder: the bigger the difference between the temperature indoors and outdoors, the more your baby’s skin will dry up.

Clothing and Laundry:

Choose soft and gentle fabrics for your baby. Dressing them constantly in denim is a big no-no, as denim tends to chafe the skin. Cotton is probably the best option here. Then, when it comes to washing your baby’s clothes, consider carefully the detergent you use. Take a while to read the labels the first time you buy detergent after having a baby, so you get to know which is most natural and is the least likely to irritate their skin in any way.

Humidify:

If you’re really noticing your newborn baby’s dry skin and have tried all of the treatments above to no avail, you should invest in a humidifier, a device that actually adds moisture to the air. You might even think of buying a natural salt lamp, which generally improves the quality of the air.

5

Simple Tips for Healthy Skin in Babies

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Aveeno Baby Wash & Shampoo, 18 Oz

Aveeno

8-ounce bottle of baby wash and shampoo; Tear-free formula gently cleanses without drying; Specially formulated for babies and newborns; Formula with soothing natural oat extract; ...

Start from: $8.97
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Product Dimensions

5.9 x 3.9 x 8.8 inches ; 1 pounds

Shipping Weight

1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)

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UPC

799959821766 797706400417 798256427442 885195293860 798813568656 698798592946 802394369080 799959842235 802394344001 763529304034 885228135556 885675054332 658707600223 658108686376 885229111412 885352548185 885229111436 885643291462 885465465812 885225847308 885226054514 885225580007 883245608404 699107645742 698798174500 885470736075 885168516903 883943738311 798256313776 885226855333 885225580014 885195515825 791159786050 885227651026 785927530921 885135531670 885775691963 797978340466 885461544177 885352224188 794653002114 885225847292 885227651033 799114941193 631113212259 754465601868 885228254875 885455111613 885588514237 885157766999 885464290378 062600061058 885600664063 381371060863 885465302544 885595677017 885474500191 794628163536 795186209032 885228254868 795186125462 789603469772 381371023905 885423914130

Item model number

JJ-172

Back in my home country, after my son was born, we started using Johnson and Johnson baby wash. We did not get this brand there. But he developed red spots and such on his skin due to that. So doctor there suggested to use a mild shampoo and other things like Lotion and such. They recommended Sebamed products which were imported from Germany and hence also very expensive. A 8 oz bottle of wash was like $9 (yes that is crazy expensive in my home country currency) when you could get Johnson and Johnson etc for under $2. We went ahead and started using sebamed everything from body wash to lotion to shampoo and even diaper rash cream.Then we came to US and initially I got sebamed here as well. But then we read about Aveeno and though this is also expensive compared to equate and other such brands, but still cheaper than sebamed and availability was plenty at walmart, kroger and such. So we tried this and this things also works very well for my son and he seem to have no problems with it.I suggest doing a subscribe and save on amazon for this product and would recommend to any parent here for their babies.
June 24, 2015
I don't recommend at all. Gave my non sensitive baby a red rash and the twin with bad eczema became worse I feel horrible for not knowing but I heard aveeno is a good brand for babies with eczema I heard wrong. Please don't buy
May 8, 2016
As a first time mom, I only knew about Johnson & Johnson products. So naturally, my initial instinct was to use the Johnson & Johnson baby products I received during my baby shower. I wasn't impressed. My second son didn't respond well to their products and seemed to get a mild rash every time we used it. After some research, we decided to give Aveeno a try. We absolutely loved it. Aveeno has a mild scent and is gentle on his skin. Two years later, I am still using Aveeno products on my son and now on my newborn daughter. It's so gentle, I even use it on my own skin 🙂 love the way it cleanses my face. Here's another little plus...great to wash makeup brushes with!!!
February 11, 2016
  • Don’t bath your baby more than you absolutely need to. If they’ve just had a bath and got messy during the day, for example, use gentle baby wipes instead.
  • Dry your baby as soon as they’re out of the bath. When you dry them, put the towel over their body gently: don’t rub. Use soft, fluffy towels, not old ones that feel tough.
  • Wrap your baby up nice and warm when it’s cold outside to protect them from the wind.
  • Keep a tub of petroleum jelly handy at all times. It works great for dry skin. Sure, it can be a little greasy: don’t use too much or your baby might slide around as if they’re ice-skating!
  • Try to find baby products that contain oatmeal. Oatmeal works wonders on dry skin.
  • Hydrocortizone is another ingredient to look out for. It’s found in a lot of dry skin products and is well known for its healing properties.
6

Remember:

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Mustela Stelatopia Moisturizing Cream
Start from: $26.00
amazon.com
Product Dimensions

5.9 x 2.6 x 5.9 inches ; 6.7 ounces

Shipping Weight

8.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)

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Item model number

MTL00005

After trying damn near EVVVVEERRY THING on Kayla's eczema and it just seemed to get worse. I didn't really want to use a steroid cream because it thins layers of skin and wanted that to be a last last resort. She was getting dry patches on her shoulders and elbows.and her face was very inflamed. I felt so bad for her because I have eczema so I k ow how it feels. I found something that ACTUALLY works.. After hours of research i found Mustela Baby products.. It had over 141 reviews on amazon with only 7 being one star the rest three and above with the about 120 being four stars. So I figured I'll try it.. this stuff right here.. Is pure magic!! Look at the results after only applying it twice. Last night and the night before.. The after picture is the beautifulness I woke up too today.The before was two days ago before the first application.. Its hypoallergenic, free of fragrance, colorants, and parabens... And no mineral oil , the sunflower oil is the active ingredient.. Now this stuff is expensive ..$ 22.00 for the cream and $14 for the shampoo... And that was targets clearance price... But I must say WELL WORTH IT!! they have a whole set for $39 which I will be going to get. If your babies have sensitive skin like me and my babies but if he does This stuff ABSOLUTELY works!
January 9, 2015
After trying Aquaphor, hydrolatum, vanicream, cerave, aveeno baby and many other lotions for my daughter's eczema, this lotion is the best for eczema. After a few days of use, my daughter's skin is smooth and the eczema goes away. Anytime I try a different lotion, I regret not sticking with this Mustela product.
September 13, 2008
I hardly ever write reviews, but I just had to because... This moisturizing cream is THE BEST of both worlds - sinks in better than a typical LOTION, but doesn't leave as much sticky residue as an OIL.My baby (under age 1) has had dry skin with red patches on her ears, legs, under her elbows, knees, and anywhere drool is left behind. She was constantly itchy and scratched herself to the point of bleeding sometimes.I was hesitant to buy a product that wasn't 100% organic with all natural ingredients, however, I went down a long road before I came to this one and I want to save you the time and energy I wasted.First, I tried Honest Company's bath wash and lotion. Fail.Second, I tried a combination of Honest Company's bath wash, Vanicream and Aquaphor. Helped a bit, but stopped working after a few months.Third, I went all natural and bought Badger Baby Balm, Badger Oil and Babo Miracle Cream. (Badger is mostly olive oil.) I really wanted to love all three products, esp. the Babo but I agreed with the reviewers that said the smell turned them off. I would have stuck with them if they had worked because I love the ingredients and EWG (Environmental Working Group) ratings, but they just did not work.Finally, I bought Mustela's Cream Wash and Moisturizing Cream!!!*Note: I also bought Angel Baby Oil and Aveeno Baby Eczema Therapy Bath.Hers is my winning combination:(1) Mustela Cream Wash in separate tub/sink(2) Aveeno oatmeal bath in her baby tub(3) Angel Baby Oil (from Earth Mama Angel Baby, just for an added all natural element, to get the calendula in there, and to help her scalp.Read more ›
June 23, 2015

Don’t rush to conclusions: your baby probably just has a mild case of dry skin; not eczema. If you take heed of the advice above, it is likely that your newborn baby’s dry skin will become soft and supple. If their dry skin condition persists, however, consult your family doctor. They will have access to more sophisticated moisturizing products than those available over-the-counter and can monitor your baby’s progress according to the dosage requirements. No matter what, though: don’t panic. Dry skin on a newborn baby is very common. Just do what you always do: be a vigilant parent, treat it regularly, and it will most likely disappear within a couple of weeks.

Still not sure ? check out if you baby has one of these different types of eczema here!

1 Comment
  1. Reply
    Tracy.L 19th April 2017 at 4:32 am

    at her birthday, my newborn had red itchy patches everywhere on her body except the face. The doctor said it was an allergy to clothing. It’s not common at all but it happened to my poor little baby. Thankfully eczema cream was working great. It calmed down immediately the baby and few hours after all red patches dispeared for good. I think it one of must have things in young mother’s medicine box.

    Thanks so much for this complete and clear article!
    Tracy

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