Newborn Baby Skin and Common Conditions

Based on content from JOHNSON'S® Baby Care Basics: The Essential Guide for New Parents., JOHNSON’S® Baby Skin Maturation Study.

Your newborn's skin is a unique and essential shield that offers protection from the outside world. It plays an important role in maintaining health, and in defending against irritants, toxins and infections. Skin also regulates your baby's internal temperature, and is a tool for exploring the world through touch.

Protect the Protector
For all that it does to protect, your baby's skin needs its own protection. New learnings from fundamental research on baby skin show that baby skin absorbs and loses moisture at a faster rate than more mature skin. In a recent clinical study, 90 percent of mothers thought their baby's skin was not dry, when in fact 60 percent of their babies had signs of dry skin! It's a good idea to protect your baby's skin and keep it healthy, soft and supple by applying a moisturizer frequently, especially after a bath or diaper change.

Made for Baby Skin
It is recommended that you use a moisturizer that is made specifically for your baby's special needs. Your baby's skin is thinner, and it is also more vulnerable to friction (chafing), detergents and other harsh agents. JOHNSON'S® Baby Lotion is hypoallergenic and gentle enough for a baby's delicate skin. Clinically proven to be gentle and mild, it contains no harsh ingredients and can be used every day to moisturize, soften and protect her skin from dryness. Use it after your baby's bath or anytime your baby's skin needs extra moisturizing.

Special Cleansing Needs
Because your baby's skin is exposed to urine, stool and spit-up milk, it needs to be cleaned often. Always make sure you're using a cleanser that is formulated for her skin. JOHNSON'S® Baby HEAD-TO-TOE® Wash is soap-free, dye-free and hypoallergenic. It's gentle for newborn skin. In fact, it's used to clean newborns in more hospitals than any other baby wash.

Baby Acne
Baby acne occurs in approximately 20 percent of all babies. It generally resolves itself during the first few months. It may take the appearance of pimples, whiteheads or a minor rash. Small white pimples or spots called milia usually appear on the face, especially the nose and chin. They aren't itchy and won't bother your baby. They are just the result of immature sweat glands, and possibly hormones from your pregnancy, and will disappear without treatment.

You may also notice during the first few days that your newborn's skin peels slightly - especially on the palms of her hands, soles of her feet, and her ankles. This is perfectly normal, especially if your baby was born past her due date. After a few days the peeling will go away. Just remember to apply a moisturizer made for babies to help maintain her soft skin.

Cradle Cap
Some babies have cradle cap or seborrheic dermatitis - a skin condition that looks like crusty or scaly patches on the scalp or eyebrows. This is a very common condition that may begin in the first few weeks and usually lasts several weeks or months. It usually resolves completely when your baby is between eight and 12 months old. To help alleviate cradle cap, you can gently massage a moisturizer or oil like JOHNSON'S® Baby Oil onto the patches to soften the crust. Wait a few minutes, then comb gently to remove the flakes. Then you can shampoo with a gentle made-for-babies shampoo like JOHNSON'S® Baby Shampoo. To learn more about cradle cap, click here [goes to cradle cap article in microsite]

Other Ways to Protect
You can also keep your baby's skin protected by dressing her in loose-fitting clothing, to prevent chafing. Protect your baby's skin from all direct sun exposure with a hat and other forms of shade. As your baby grows, her skin will adapt and grow with her. With your care and attention, you play an important role in keeping your baby, and your baby's skin, healthy. And whether you're bathing your baby's skin or smoothing on a moisturizer, you're doing more than helping to keep your baby's skin healthy. With your gentle hand, you're also forming a special bond with your baby through the power of your touch.