Skin health tips for babies and mums: Useful advice from a medical expert

Dr Tan Hiok Hee, dermatologist at Thomson Specialist Skin Centre, offers great skincare tips and advice for babies and mums.

Our skin is the largest organ in our bodies, so we should definitely take good care of it. A baby’s skin is especially sensitive and must be cared for thoroughly.

It’s not just baby’s skin that needs special care though — mums’ skin needs tender, loving care too! So read on for helpful advice from Dr Tan Hiok Hee, a dermatologist at Thomson Specialist Skin Centre.

skincare for mum and baby

Skincare for mum and baby: Check out these tips from the Doctor now!

Tips for baby skin care

When picking skin care products for baby, look for items that do not contain dyes, phthalates and parabens, or excessive fragrance, as these cause skin irritation for babies.

Remember, whenever you’re in doubt, talk to your doctor.

Common baby skin conditions

skincare for mum and baby

Diaper rash may be caused by wetness or tight diapers that have been worn for too long.
Read on for more tips on skincare for mum and baby!

Diaper rash

Diaper rash occurs when baby’s skin is irritated due to wet or tight diapers that have been worn for too long. Thus, diapers should be changed as soon as they get wet.

If a rash occurs, try to keep your baby’s diaper area exposed — remove the diaper when you’re at home, to allow the rash to heal.

Prickly heat rash

These small pinkish red bumps usually occur on parts of baby’s body that are prone to sweating. To treat it, keep the environment cool and dry, and avoid putting tight-fitting clothes on baby.

skincare for mum and baby

Mums, not to worry – your little one’s acne may be due to overexposure to your hormones and will usually clear within a few weeks.

Pimples and whiteheads

Acne is not just an adult condition — it can also occur in babies due to exposure to the mum’s hormones. However, treatment is usually not required as the acne will clear by itself within a few weeks.

White bumps (Milia)

Half of all newborns get these tiny white bumps on their faces and noses. There’s no cause for worry, though, as these bumps will clear by themselves and do not require treatment.

Cradle cap

Cradle cap, which presents itself as thick white or yellow scales on the scalp, occurs primarily during baby’s first month and clears within his or her first year. Use olive oil and gentle shampoo to remove adherent crusts.

skincare for mum and baby

Skincare tip for mums: Moisturise daily to keep your skin hydrated.

Tips for mum’s skin care

• Use sunblock to reduce worsening of pigmentation. Many skin lightening creams should be avoided during pregnancy, but sunblocks are safe and should be used.

• Use a gentle skin cleanser, particularly if you already have dry skin. Harsh soaps can aggravate itchiness and dry the skin out.

• Use a moisturiser daily as moisturising the skin keeps it hydrated and supple, and reduces itching due to dry skin. Moisturisers also help make skin less irritable, especially if you have eczema.

• Use topical medications as directed by your doctor. There is no need to fear the use of topical steroids if your doctor prescribes them, but always clarify how to use them and how frequently to apply them.

Common skin changes during pregnancy

skincare for mum and baby

During pregnancy, your skin goes through a lot of changes – but there’s no need to be alarmed.

Your skin undergoes a lot of changes during pregnancy. Many of these skin changes are physiological and are part of the pregnancy process, so they should not cause alarm.

These changes include increased facial pigmentation (melasma) and development of stretch marks. During pregnancy, hair also becomes more lustrous, and, occasionally, nails may become more brittle.

It is also common for veins to become more prominent, and some moles may increase in size. If any of these changes occur and concern you, please seek medical advice.

Certain pre-existing skin conditions, such as eczema, might occasionally flare in pregnancy.

There are also a few specific skin conditions that can occur in pregnancy, such as PUPPP (Pruritic Urticarial Plaques and Papules of Pregnancy), which are itchy skin conditions that will clear after delivery.

Post-delivery, one of the common issues is hair loss, which is usually due to a condition known as telogen effluvium.

Dr Tan will be sharing more tips and expert advice at the Journeying With Baby Fair.

Learn about Essential Skin Care Tips for Mother and Baby, by Dr Tan Hiok Hee of Thomson Specialist Skin Centre, at Thomson Medical Presents “Journeying with Baby” this 20-22 June 2014, Suntec Convention Halls 401/402. For registration of workshops, please visit: http://www.thomsonbaby.com/home/#!/registration

In the meantime, we want to know — did you and your baby ever experience any of the skin conditions mentioned in this article? If yes, what was it, and how did you deal with it? Let us know by leaving a comment!