Infant’s immune system is not well developed and it is easy to be infected with allergic skin diseases. In order to keep your baby away from dryness, itching, eczema, angular stomatitis and other troubles, your mother must take good care of your baby’s skin. However, frequent bathing or excessive sun exposure are taboos for baby skin care, do you know? Let’s have a look.
Baby skin is easier to dry
The baby’s skin is very delicate, mainly because of the incomplete development of the junction area between the epidermis and dermis. What the human body is responsible for combining the epidermis and dermis is is a kind of structure called “hemidesmosomes”. The adhesion between layers is weak, the epidermis is easy to peel off, and defects are easy to appear under the action of external forces. Therefore, external irritants, scratching and a little touch will damage the skin. Newborn babies have a natural protective layer – fetal fat. The results showed that the total sebum content of the newborn was close to that of the adult, but the sebum secretion decreased rapidly after birth, which was related to the smaller sweat glands and the absence of sebum secretion granules in the cells. By the time of one month of birth, the amount of sebum secretion had been reduced to 20% of the original level. It was not until the age of 8 that the sebum secretion began to recover, and it could not stabilize at a high level until the age of 12. Sebum is very important for the formation of protective acid film on the skin surface.
Experts say that the skin pH value of the newborn is close to neutral, which is 7. Within one week after birth, due to the gradual acidification of skin by phospholipase A2 produced by keratinocytes, the pH value of skin decreased to 5.5-5.9, or even lower, of adult level. However, the normal acidification of the skin surface depends on the integrity of the cuticle and the retention of sebum, so the infant skin is not as vulnerable as the adult skin which can neutralize the external alkaline substances.
The water content of infant skin is higher than that of adult skin. The water content of newborn skin is 74.5%, infant skin is 69.4%, and adult skin is only 64%. However, although the baby’s skin has a strong ability to absorb external water, due to the imperfect barrier function, water volatilization is also fast, so it is easier to dry.
No more than 15 minutes of sunshine in summer
In summer, babies are prone to “red buttocks”. This is because the skin permeability of newborns is higher than that of adults. Due to the reason of defecation, the cleaning times of baby’s buttocks are especially many, and liposoluble substances and alcohol solvents are easy to penetrate into the skin. In addition, the baby’s buttocks are wrapped in diapers, the environment is moist and airtight, and there is more friction with diapers, so the phenomenon of “red buttocks” appears. This is also the cause of diaper dermatitis, the most common skin disease in infants. According to statistics, due to the mixed effects of moist, fecal and urine enzyme stimulation and friction damage, every baby will have diaper dermatitis once every 3 months on average.
The skin of infants is whiter and softer than that of adults because of the low function of skin cells to synthesize melanin. Studies have shown that infants are more sensitive to light, and sunlight significantly reduces the rate of skin cell renewal and the degree of collagen / elastin crosslinking. Because UV can destroy the DNA of cells, and the more vigorously divided cells are more vulnerable to damage, while the infant skin cells are in a vigorous period of division and anabolism, therefore, the killing power of UV on infants is greater than that of adults.
Experts suggest that the best time for the baby to bask in the sun is before 10 a.m. and after 4 p.m. in fine weather. The best place to bask in the sun is the buttocks and legs with thick fat accumulation. It’s better to adjust the basking time according to different regions and seasons. For example, the sun is strong in summer, and the time of each time is controlled within 10-15 minutes, while that in winter, spring and autumn is controlled within half an hour. It should be emphasized that the time of controlling the sun exposure should be based on the fact that the child’s skin is not red and hot.
Keep your eyes out of the way
Adults blink involuntarily when their eyes are uncomfortable. This “blink reflex” is actually a protective reflex formed by the human body in the day after tomorrow.
Experts said that the newborn does not have this self-protection mechanism, until 1.5-2 months old can form blink reflex, so it is too late to “remind” parents by blinking when they are stimulated by foreign bodies, and to show their protest by wailing. Therefore, for babies under two months, parents need to pay special attention to whether their children’s eyes are stimulated by foreign bodies and strong light.
One is to wash and protect the baby gently. Usually, it is necessary to protect and lubricate the skin to avoid skin damage caused by friction and external force. The strength of bathing and touching should be based on the skin not getting red.
Second, the secretion of the sebaceous glands of the newborn decreased rapidly after birth, and the sebaceous glands should be preserved as much as possible when washing. The fetal fat of the newborn does not need to be washed away. Do not remove the sebum excessively when bathing. Babies aged 0-3 usually take a bath once a day, while premature babies can take a bath once every two days. When the temperature is over 30 ℃ and the baby is prone to perspiration, you can appropriately increase the number of baths, but it is better not to exceed twice.
Third, the bath products used by the newborn born only one month can not be irritating to the eyes.
Fourth, in order to prevent “red buttocks”, in addition to reducing cleaning times and keeping buttocks dry, infants should not use adult alkaline bath products, nor use cleaning solutions and supplies containing solvents such as alcohol and other ingredients. Neutral products should be used to avoid damaging the pH value of the baby’s skin and the normal colony on the skin surface.
Fifth, to maintain the high moisture content of the baby’s skin, we need to reduce the water loss through the epidermis, and we should choose moisturizing products that pay attention to the moisturizing effect.
Experts point out that there are structural and functional differences between the skin and hair of newborn babies and adults. The total thickness of cuticle plus dermis was 0.9 mm in premature infants, 1.2 mm in term infants, 2.1 mm in adults, and 43% – 51% in infants.
Structurally, the cuticle of infant skin is composed of layers of cells similar to adherent cells, about 15 layers, while that of adult skin is 20-25 layers. The dermis of the infant is thinner than that of the adult, the elastic fibers are less and immature, the collagen components are different, and the cross-linking between collagen and elastin has not been formed.
In a word, the baby should pay special attention to bathing and sun exposure. After all, our ultimate goal is to protect the baby’s skin. If it hurts the skin, it will fall short. If you want to know more about what health habits children need to cultivate, this website has a lot of relevant knowledge for you to find, hoping to help you!