As children grow older, they are prone to skin problems because they have more sensitive and delicate skin than adults.
Children’s skin is more vulnerable to direct impact from a number of environmental conditions.
As a mother, your child’s skin conditions can be heartbreaking for you, which is why special care is needed to make sure that you are well-equipped, to ensure your child’s skin remains soft and healthy.
Knowing how to take good care of your child’s skin can help prevent some skin issues and alert you to concerns in time so that you can notify your child’s pediatrician.
Tips on how to care for your child’s skin:
1. Dry skin
As babies grow older, their skin leave that delicate texture behind and may become quiet dry and coarse.
This could be due to dehydration or harsh environmental conditions that strip their skin off its natural beauty and delicateness – and makes extremely dry.
- Avoid using fragrant soaps or excessive scrubbing for your child’s skin, it may be too harsh and could cause dryness.
- Make sure to dry your child’s face properly after washing, apply a gentle cream or moisturiser to their body to ensure their skin is kept moisturised.
- Keep them hydrated either with water or milk.
A red lump containing white or yellow pus in the centre appears on your child’s face, neck, armpit or even the buttocks. This is nothing short of a boil!
Boil can often be discomforting for adults not to talk of children.
Boils are spread by pus from a boil touching other skin, so be careful not to spread the pus from the boil.
- Clean boil daily, soak a towel in warm water and put on the boil for 20 minutes. If boil bursts, clean fluid or blood with cotton wool soaked in water and antiseptic – and wash towels after each use.
- Wash your hands before and after touching the boil and make sure your child wears clean clothes every day. Be sure to check the rest of the family for boils.
- If the boil gets worse and becomes a large deep boil called abscess or the boil is near the eye, or the boil lasts longer than a week – go to the doctor immediately
- Remember to see your doctor to prescribe an antibiotic to give your child. The antibiotics need to completely kill the bacteria causing boil in the body after the skin has healed.
Chickenpox is an itchy, red rash which develops into small blisters over the chest, back, tummy or face and the rest of the body –and may also appear in the mouth, ears, or on the genitals.
The sickness starts 10–21 days after it is contacted and clears up within 5 –10 days in children – if there are no complications.
Chickenpox is a very contagious disease and having chickenpox can be very uncomfortable for your child.
It can spread through the air by infected people when they cough or sneeze.
However, your infected child should avoid close contact with other people so as not to infect them – and also keep the child away from school for a week till the appearance of the chickenpox rash or blisters have dried.
Wash your hands often after caring for a child with chickenpox and make sure the child do so as well.
4. Nappy rash
A baby left in a dirty nappy for too long is more likely to develop a nappy rash!
Nappy rash causes a red puffy rash around your baby’s genitals, bottom and the folds of her thighs and may be either dry or moist.
To treat your baby’s nappy rash;
- Keep your baby clean and dry by changing her nappy as soon as possible.
- Be sure to clean her bottom with fragrance-free and alcohol-free baby wipes – or a mild, moisturising soap and rinse in plain water and pat her skin dry.
5. Pricky Heat
Heat rash can keep baby up all night, scratching those itchy angry red bumps around the face, neck, back or bottom.
Conditions like hot, humid climates, long and hot car ride while strapped in a car seat— can cause prickly heat rash.
- Start by taking off your baby’s clothing and move her to a cool spot. Dress your child in light clothes as possible when the weather is hot and also keep your child’s sleeping area cool.
- After the rash is gone, expose your child to warmer temperatures gradually, so that her skin can adapt.
6. Insect Bites
An insect bite is usually a red itchy bump and sometimes painful.
Children get bites from insects such as mosquitos, fleas or from spiders and will often disturb you to keep scratching the bites for them.
To stop itching, wash the bite with cool water and apply lotion or aloe vera on the bites.
- Put mosquito nets around beds and close windows at night.
- Wear your child close-fitting pyjamas and use children’s insect repellent.
- If the insect bite is near the child’s eye, swollen, painful or there is pus in the bite – you need to take your child to the doctor.
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Ringworm is a flat, ring-shaped infection that spreads when it comes in contact with infected skin, clothes, personal items or surfaces.
Ringworm on the scalp can cause round, painful red patches and make hair fallout.
- Clean skin daily and visit a pharmacist or doctor to prescribe cream to use to kill the infection
- If the infection lasts more than 2 weeks or the ringworm is on the scalp skin becomes red and swollen with some pus in the infection, you will need to see the doctor.
Scabies is a skin infection caused by tiny hard-to-see insects (mites) which burrow under the skin. The small blisters and very itchy rash you see on your child’s skin is an allergic reaction to the mites’ eggs and poo burrowed under your baby’s skin
Scabies spreads easily between family members and friends, especially by skin contact, sharing clothing and bedding – or when you have a lot of people living together.
- Since scabies spreads easily, let your child stay at home until treatment is completed.
- You should visit your doctor to prescribe a lotion or cream to treat your child’s skin infection.
- Treat your whole family at the same time and also wash all clothing, linen, towels and soft toys to destroy mites.
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