Summer brings with itself the promise of warmth. Indian summers though, bring with it more than that. Extreme heat, fatigue, harsh UV radiation, and a variety of skin problems are common every summer in the country.
While adults struggle hard to handle the climate, think of the little ones at home! Come summer, you need to invest more time and effort in baby care. Keeping the little one comfortable, cool, and away from summer skin infections is important.
Babies are born with really sensitive skin and skin infections are quite common in the first few years. Both summers and winters bring with themselves the risk of skin infections. Summer, however, makes things worse because of added heat and discomfort.
What are the different skin infections you need to watch out for during summer? What are the baby skin care tips that will help you handle the season better? Let’s have a look.
One of the common problems in summer is heat rashes. The skin has minute pores that help eliminate sweat, dead skin cells, oil, and dirt from the skin’s surface.
During summer, the pores can get clogged up with dead cells, oil, and dirt. As a result, sweat gets blocked too. You can notice small bumps that are red or flesh colored developing on the baby’s neck, armpits, thighs, or knees. Some of the other signs of heat rashes are:
- Redness in skin
- Prickly sensation
- Inflammation in the skin
Calamine lotions can be applied to the skin to prevent itch and pain. Keep the baby cool and opt for loose 100% organic cotton clothes that don’t irritate the skin more. Also, ensure the baby is hydrated. For older children, offer water, tender coconut water, and juices in plenty. For infants, offer breastmilk or formula milk often.
(Image source: Flickr)
Acne in newborns is very common. About 20% of babies develop acne in the first few weeks. However, if your baby develops acne after 2 months, then it could be because of certain products used or the heat.
Babies sweat a lot in summer and the skin’s pores can get clogged up with a mix of sweat, skin oil, baby products like lotions and creams, and dead skin cells. All these results in bacterial growth in the pores and resultant acne. Acne can resemble small raised bumps on the skin or at times can get pus-filled.
Make sure you don’t apply anything to the acne or it will make the condition worse. You can gently wipe the skin with warm water and leave the skin clean. The acne should go away on its own. If acne is followed by chills or fever or if the boils in the skin get worse, talk to your pediatrician right away.
(Fungal infections through a microscope| Source: Wikipedia)
Yeast is a kind of microorganism that lives superficially on all types of skin all through the year. Yeast survives in a moist atmosphere. In summer, we sweat a lot and so the yeast gets a comfortable medium to grow in. Yeast infections are very common in summer in both adults and children.
When you rub the sweat from the body using a towel, then it becomes easy for the yeast to spread all over the body and worsens the chance of infection spreading.
Yeast infection can be seen as scaly patches of raised bumps on the skin. The skin may feel rough to touch and will be itchy.
Bathing the baby twice or giving a sponge bath in the evening after a sweaty day can bring down the risk of developing yeast infections. Make this a regular baby care routine at home. Use a 100% cotton wrap or bed sheet when the baby is sleeping to help absorb excess sweat.
Impetigo is a very common skin infection that affects infants and children. The problem with this condition is that it is contagious and spreads quickly when babies and children play together. This bacterial infection can enter the body through cuts and scratches in the skin. It usually spreads to the babies in the house from older siblings.
The main symptom of impetigo is reddish sores around the nose and lips. The sores can develop into painful blisters. You will need to talk to your doctor for pediatric antibiotics to treat the condition.
While diaper rashes occur in all seasons, it is especially common during summer. Disposable diapers are made of toxic chemical dyes and bleach. When you keep the baby in diapers all through the day and night, it leads to the skin developing rashes and pain.
Use diaper rash creams before using diapers and whenever possible, use cotton nappies and cloth diapers that are safer on the skin.
Some babies can develop heat boils during extremely hot summers. These start as small pale-colored pimples and grow bigger and more painful with time. Sometimes, heat boils develop into pus-filled furuncles that cause extreme pain for several days until the pus breaks. As a part of the baby skin care routine, apply a warm compress on the boils to help with the pain and to break the boil naturally. Your pediatrician can prescribe over-the-counter antibiotic ointments too.
There are a lot of baby care tips and tricks mentioned online. You don’t have to stress yourself out with all of them. All you need to know are the below basic skincare routines that will keep your little one safe in summer.
- Use soft cotton clothes (dresses, towels, wraparounds, nappies) all through summer.
- Wash clothes with mild and natural detergents.
- Do not use disposable diapers all through the day.
- Make use of non-comedogenic creams and lotions for babies. These do not clog up pores.
- Keep the house ventilated.
- Talk to your pediatrician when you notice the first sign of skin infections. Infections, when ignored, can turn worse.
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