As a parent, your top priority is to provide the best for your child, and that includes taking care of their delicate and sensitive skin. Children’s skin requires special attention to keep it healthy and avoid common skin problems. With so many pediatric skincare products and conflicting advice out there, it can be overwhelming to know where to start. However, it doesn’t have to be if you are armed with the right information.
Here is a comprehensive pediatric skincare guide that covers everything you need to know about your child’s skin. But first, let’s understand why pediatric skin care is important.
Why Pediatric Skin Care is Important
Your skin serves as your first barrier against the outside world. It works diligently to regulate body temperature, prevent dehydration, and protect you from various external harmful elements. Moreover, children’s skin undergoes various structural and functional changes from birth to the first five years of life and is different from adults.
Newborns and babies have skin that is 40-60 times thinner and less hydrated compared to the skin of adults. Additionally, it also has reduced natural moisturizing factor (NMF). These factors make their skin vulnerable to dehydration and common skin conditions like eczema, rashes, and acne. Therefore, it’s important to begin caring for your children’s skin early to protect them from future skin problems.
Keep Your Child’s Skincare Regimen Simple
The simpler your child’s skincare routine is, the better it is for their skin health. Your child’s skincare regimen should include a bath with a gentle cleanser. You can use lukewarm water for bathing, and ideally, bath time should be 15 minutes or less. Choose a mild and fragrance-free cleanser with neutral pH that does not irritate skin or eyes.
How often you bathe your child depends on your child’s age, the weather, and what they are exposed to from the environment. Bathe your infant every 2-3 days and spot-clean their face, hands, and diaper area as needed throughout the day. Older children may need daily bathing, especially if they play outside. It’s best to reduce the bathing frequency in cold weather.
It’s also best to apply moisturizer after the bath to maintain the skin’s moisture. Gently massage your baby’s body with moisturizer until it has fully penetrated the skin. For children with sensitive skin, it’s ideal to look for a moisturizer that contains ceramides. Additionally, generously apply broad-spectrum sunscreen to your child’s skin, especially when going out in the sun.
Be Aware of Ingredients You Should Avoid
Younger children have sensitive skin that is more susceptible to irritants. They often develop skin irritations and allergic reactions to common synthetic allergens. Therefore, it’s crucial to have a thorough knowledge and understanding of ingredients to avoid. It is recommended to avoid:
- Fragrances are often associated with allergic reactions, respiratory conditions, and dermatitis.
- Parabens are preservatives that can cause irritation and allergies in your children.
- Formaldehyde. Formaldehyde and formaldehyde-releasing preservatives (FRPs) can lead to allergies and can harm your child’s immune system.
- Sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS)/Sodium laureth sulfate (SLES). Sulfates can irritate a child’s eyes, skin, and lungs. They can also sometimes interact poorly with other components.
- Propylene glycol. This small, organic alcohol condition skin may cause dermatitis and hives, even in concentrations as low as 2%.
Change Your Child’s Skincare Routine as They Age
As your child grows, their skin care needs change and require adjustment to their skincare routine. Adapting a child’s skincare routine to their age ensures that their skin stays well-nourished and healthy.
When your child is 6 to 10, introduce regular bedtime cleansing of the face in their skincare routine. As your child grows and reaches pre-adolescent or adolescence, watch out for the signs of irritation, rashes, breakouts, and peachy fuzz. Take your child’s skin issues seriously and seek out a pediatric dermatologist when needed.
It is highly recommended to frequently check the ingredients in products your child uses (especially pre-adolescents and adolescents)to ensure that the product is right for their skin needs.
Know When to Seek Medical Help
Skin conditions are not uncommon in children. Some can be managed at home, while others require professional evaluation and treatment. It’s best to see a pediatric dermatologist for your child’s health if they:
- Have persistent or worsening symptoms despite home remedies
- Chronic or recurrent skin conditions like psoriasis, eczema, etc.
- Suspected skin infection, such as cellulitis or impetigo
- Allergic reactions such as hive, redness, swelling
Skin Care for Kids at Happy Skin
If you think your child is having a skin problem and are seeking a lasting solution, look no further. At Happy Skin, our highly trained and compassionate dermatologists offer proper diagnosis and treatment of a comprehensive range of pediatric skin, hair, and nail conditions. Our dermatologists also equip our patients with the knowledge and information they need to keep their children’s skin healthy and smooth.
To make an appointment with our pediatricians, call us today at (602) 837-3376 or reach out via our online appointment request form. We look forward to serving you!