Foolproof ways to prevent baby skin rashes in winter

Cold weather can be a shock to a baby’s delicate skin, but these simple steps will help keep it soft and smooth.

Babies may be known for having incredibly soft skin, but they can also be prone to many rashes and skin irritations – many of which can flare up in winter.

There are many ways we can look after and moisturise our baby’s delicate skin.

But it is possible to overdo it with too many lotions or potions, baths and inappropriate products.

Pediatric dermatologist Dr Li-Chuen Wong says many babies presenting with rashes and dry skin, often in winter, generally have a condition known as atopy.

Atopy is a predisposition to developing certain allergic reactions and often presents as eczema, asthma or hay fever.

“Atopy is also a genetic condition so there’s often a family history there,” Dr Wong says.

She says the condition often presents in babies around the age of two to three months.

baby skin

Winter is when baby skin rashes can start

Dr Wong says the lower humidity in the cooler months is often a cause for dry skin and skin irritations in babies.

“As well as significant changes in weather, a virus or minor illness can also be the cause for a flare-up,” she says.

How to prevent baby skin rashes

Dr Wong says even if there is a family history, eczema in particular can be prevented, with the right care and treatment.

“In terms of preventing these conditions, it’s important to start moisturising a baby’s skin as soon as they are born, if you know there is a family history,” Dr Wong says.

“Use an unscented bath oil and unscented, non-fragranced and soap-free products – then start moisturising after the bath, again using a fragrance free product.

“And do it regularly at least two, if not three times a day, especially in winter – all over, top to toe.

“If it is not too severe, just dry skin, you can prevent it from becoming a full-blown eczema flare-up just by moisturising, and getting the skin barrier back intact – as that’s the problem, the skin barrier is defective.”

Product choice is vital for baby skin

Dr Wong stressed fragranced products were an absolute “no no”.

“Even if it says it’s organic or good for eczema – if there’s a fragrance it’s going to particularly irritate the skin,” she says.

“Harsh soaps, Dettol and bubble baths could also make things worse, too.”

Written by Sally Heppleston