Cold air also means drier air, and drier air means less humid air that can dry the skin out. Dr. Amy Kim of MetroDerm Atlanta wants to share winter skin tips for your baby or toddler.
• Use a humidifier in your baby’s room. Humidity during the warm summer months can be greater than 50% while humidity during the cold months can drop to 10%. Less humid air pulls the moisture out of skin. Put a humidifier in your baby’s room to replace the lost humidity.
• Avoid long baths. Did you know that water exposure actually dries out the skin? One might think that sitting in a warm bath would hydrate the skin, however, the opposite is true. Limit bath time for your baby or toddler to five minutes or less.
• Moisturize more during the wintertime! Moisturize, moisturize, and moisturize during the colder and drier winter months. This winter skin tip for your baby or toddler is one that is a must. Both baby and toddler’s skin is more vulnerable than adult skin as it is naturally thinner and more delicate. The best time to moisturize your baby or toddler’s skin is right after bath time, when slathering on a moisturizer can lock in the hydration. Remember, ointments are better than creams, and creams are better than lotions at locking in the moisture.
• Protect your baby or toddler’s skin when going outside. Your baby loses much of its heat from its head, so a hat is a must-have when it is especially cold outside. Protecting your baby or toddler’s head with a hat and hands with mittens is important if your baby will be outside for an extended period. The cold and dry air can leach out the moisture from your baby or toddler’s skin and ultimately cause irritation to the unprotected skin. Protecting your baby or toddler’s skin is a necessary winter skin tip to both protect the skin from the elements, but also reminds you how layers of clothing are a practical way to dress your baby during the winter. You want to layer up the clothing, but not too much, as to avoid a heat rash. Think of “one more.” Your baby typically requires “one more” layer of clothing than yourself.
• Chapped lips or cheeks. ’Tis the season when your baby or toddler can get chapped lips or cheeks from the colder and drier air. Fragrance-free ointments are the best at preventing and soothing chapped lips or cheeks. If you know your baby or toddler will be outside in cold weather, slather on an ointment to protect them.
• Spot and soothe eczema. Some atopic individuals are prone to eczema. Eczema occurs when sensitive skin gets too dry and irritated and then becomes rashy. Eczema flares are common during the winter months when the air is colder and drier. Protecteczema-prone skin with regular application of an ointment moisturizer several times during the day. Moisturizing with anointment may be all you need to prevent or soothe a case of eczema. If an eczema flare is spotted, then moisturize even more with an ointment and consider an evaluation by your dermatologist in case a prescription medication is needed.
Consider these winter skin tips for your baby or toddler this season to help keep your child’s skin healthy. Prevention is key, and these tips can help prevent skin troubles for you and your baby. Happy holidays and happy winter time!
Dr. Amy Kim is a Board Certified Dermatologist and Fellowship Trained Mohs Surgeon. Her expertise lies in skin cancer management and Mohs micrographic surgery. Dr. Kim also practices general and cosmetic dermatology at MetroDerm P. C. in Atlanta and Hiram,GA. She earned her medical degree through Boston University. She completed her internal medicine internship in 1999 at Barnes JewishHospital of Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri. In 2003, Dr. Kim completed a four-year research fellowship and dermatology residency at Emory University, where she was chief Resident of the program. Following that four-year clinical and research program, Dr. Amy Kim completed a two-year fellowship in Mohs micrographic surgery and cosmetic reconstruction, cutaneous oncology and melanoma, cosmetic surgery, and laser surgery at theUniversity of Michigan in 2005. During her dermatology residency and Mohs fellowship years, Dr. Kim authored multiple publications in peer-reviewed medical journals and made presentations at the national meetings of the American Academy of Dermatology and Society of Investigative Dermatology.