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Sensitive Baby Skin: Causes, Symptoms, And Treatments

Posted on September 18 2020

Happy baby smiling

Sensitive baby skin is common among newborns, but it’s not something to get too alarmed about. You can easily and effectively care for your baby’s sensitive skin at home!

Keep reading to find out what can irritate your baby’s sensitive skin, identify some common sensitive skin symptoms, discover normal symptoms for your baby’s skin, and learn at-home treatments to help soothe your little one’s skin.

What Is Sensitive Baby Skin?

 baby sleeping with sensitive baby skin

The skin is the largest organ in the human body and protects other organs from the environment. In the womb, your baby’s skin was protected, but after birth, it takes time for it to evolve and adjust to life outside of the womb.

Your baby’s skin is not the same as your mature skin, so it requires a different kind of care. For example, it’s thinner and much more delicate. Surprisingly, it’s able to absorb more water than your skin, but it actually loses water at a faster rate, which leaves it dry.

A baby’s immune system develops over time, so when their skin loses that water (which helps protect it), there’s a greater chance of them developing skin irritations and infections.

Because it takes some time for your little one’s skin to develop a protective layer, it’s more susceptible to dryness and more vulnerable to the environment.

This is why it’s important to properly care for your baby by using the right products that will protect and moisturize their evolving skin!

Sensitive Baby Skin: Causes

 parent changing newborn with sensitive baby skin

Different external and internal factors can affect your little one’s sensitive skin. Identifying the underlying factor will help you recognize and eliminate triggers that can irritate sensitive skin.

Chemical Factors

Most everything in your home contains some kind of chemical, whether that’s laundry detergent, bubble bath, or anything in-between.

Here are some chemical factors that could irritate your baby’s sensitive skin:

  • Certain material in your baby’s clothing, sheets, swaddles, and blankets
  • Scents (perfume, cologne, candles, or sprays)
  • Diapers
  • Laundry detergents
  • Baby lotions
  • Baby wash

Environmental Factors

Some babies are more sensitive to cold weather, while others are more sensitive to heat. These different weather conditions can cause changes to your little one’s skin:

  • Heat
  • Cold
  • Wind
  • Sun

Existing Skin Conditions

Your baby could possibly have an existing condition that makes their skin extra sensitive.

The following skin conditions can be treated at home with the right products to help soothe your baby’s sensitive skin:

  • Eczema
  • Overly dry skin
  • Skin allergies
  • Newborn acne
  • Genetics

Sensitive Baby Skin: Symptoms

 smiling baby under blanket

Some sensitive baby skin symptoms mimic other skin conditions. The difference is sensitive skin symptoms are temporary — they come and go.

Take a look at some things that are obvious sensitive-skin giveaways:

  • Dry, flaky skin
  • Temporary redness
  • Tingling skin
  • Temporary diaper rash
  • Changes to skin after applying soap or lotion
  • Changes to skin after getting your baby dressed

Normal Symptoms For Your Baby’s Skin

 newborn with sensitive baby skin playing with feet

Keep in mind that all babies will all have some sort of skin irritation at some point or another. This is completely normal, especially in newborns! Their skin takes time to adjust to its new environment, so it must go through some changes to mature.

Here are some symptoms that are completely normal when they happen occasionally:

  • Rashes from spit-up, drool, or heat
  • Baby acne
  • Milia (tiny white bumps on their face, particularly around their nose)
  • Cradle cap
  • Dry skin

Sensitive Baby Skin: Treatment

 mom talking to baby

The number one goal for treating your little one’s sensitive skin is eliminating the triggers. Here are some suggestions to help you do exactly that!

Keep A Notebook Handy

Make notes of when you notice changes in your baby’s skin.

Do you notice a change in their skin after giving them a bath? After getting them dressed? After being outside in the heat/sun or cold? Over time, you’ll notice a pattern, and then you can eliminate what’s irritating your baby’s sensitive skin.

For example, if you notice that your baby’s skin becomes irritated after you get them dressed, then the culprit may be laundry detergent.

Moisturize Your Baby’s Skin Daily

We mentioned earlier that your baby’s skin loses water faster than an adult’s mature skin, which can leave it sensitive.

One way to care for your little one’s skin is to moisturize it daily. Our Sensitive Skin Daily Hydra Baby Lotion is great for dry, sensitive, irritated, or eczema-prone skin!

Also try our Sensitive Baby Fragrance Free Miracle Cream to soothe and comfort your little one's skin!

Choose Safe, Gentle Detergents

When pregnant, most women experience what experts like to call “the nesting phase.” This is when most mothers-to-be clean, purge, and wash anything and everything within the four walls of their home.

While you’re hard at work, choose a safe and gentle laundry detergent to wash your baby’s clothes in. And after you bring your newborn home from the hospital, make sure to use a gentle detergent that targets their sensitive skincare needs.

Also, keep your little one’s items separate from the rest of the clothes and towels. This includes your baby’s clothes, blankets, sheets, swaddles, towels, and anything else that will have direct contact with their skin.

Choose Safe, Gentle Bathtime Products

Every baby loves a good bubble bath! Unfortunately, many bubble bath products are made with harsh chemicals that can release an overbearing scent and irritate your little one’s skin.

This is why it’s important to choose a safe, gentle bubble bath, like our Calming Shampoo, Bubble Bath & Wash. This multipurpose product contains a soft, soothing scent of French Lavender, leaving your baby calm and relaxed for bedtime.

And it’s made with natural ingredients to gently cleanse your baby’s hair and body while moisturizing their delicate, sensitive skin!

 Mom with baby just done with bath time

Keep Your Baby’s Sensitive Skin Clean

Keeping your baby’s sensitive skin clean is an important step in safeguarding it. Sometimes your little one needs a wash specific to their skincare needs.

For example, our Sensitive Newborn Foam Baby Wash – Fragrance Free protects your baby’s skin. Its mild formula makes it the perfect match for sensitive newborn skin and also helps prevent and relieve cradle cap!

Protect Your Baby’s Skin From The Sun
Your baby is exposed to the sun more than you realize, like when they’re in the car or stroller.

Our Baby Skin Mineral Sunscreen – SPF 50 is the best defense for protecting your little one’s skin from the sun! It’s a lightweight, fragrance-free baby sunscreen that’s specifically designed for very sensitive skin.

Pay Attention To Your Baby’s Diaper Area

Crying is the only way your baby can communicate to you to let you know that their skin is irritated. If this happens and you don’t notice anything on the surface of their skin, check their diaper area.

This area can be especially sensitive, which is why you want to choose your diaper products wisely. Our Sensitive Baby Zinc Diaper Cream – Fragrance Free is ideal for soothing skin irritation.

It has a creamy and plant-based formula to provide a protective moisture barrier for your little one’s sensitive skin. It’s even cloth-diaper friendly!

When To See A Doctor

While most of your baby’s skin irritation can be treated at home, sometimes it needs to be looked at by a professional. If the following applies to your baby, reach out to their pediatrician:

  • Rash or dryness doesn’t get better over time
  • Your baby develops a fever with a rash
  • Natural treatments don’t help your baby’s skin
  • You notice signs of infection, such as fever

Caring For Your Baby’s Sensitive Skin

 parent giving baby a bath to protect sensitive baby skin

Caring for your baby’s sensitive skin doesn’t have to be difficult. Keep track of what seems to irritate your little one’s skin, follow our recommended treatment tips, and use gentle and effective Babo Botanicals products.

And don’t forget about our Newborn Fragrance Free Gift Set that provides the essentials when it comes to caring for your little one’s sensitive skin!

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