The skin performs the same functions during all phases of life, yet it is undeniable that the skin of children, and in particular that of infants, is very different from that of adults. The skin of newborns is extremely delicate, soft and fragrant, but also particularly sensitive and in need of special care and attention. Let’s find out why!
● The dermis (the deepest layer of the skin) in children is 5 times thinner than in adults, so their skin is more exposed to damage by mechanical stimuli.
● At birth the skin of infants has a neutral pH value , the acid protective coat is missing, which protects it from harmful environmental attacks, such as those of bacteria and fungi. Only after six weeks the pH becomes acidic and the skin more resistant.
● The structure of the stratum corneum (the outermost layer of the skin) is less compact, the cells need a few months to connect firmly together, which makes it relatively permeable and less protected. For this reason it is important to put only natural fibers in contact with the skin and all fabrics should be washed at least once – twice before wearing them for the first time.
● The sebaceous glands are still not working perfectly , so the protective grease layer on the skin is still missing (also because of this the skin smells so good!). This means that infants’ skin tends to lose moisture quickly and dry out. The stratum corneum has, however, a higher water content, which makes children’s skin more taut and turgid than that of adults.
● Children’s skin produces very low quantities of melanin in the first years of life and, since there is no physiological protection from the sun, children must not be exposed directly to its rays both in summer and in winter. Furthermore, since their skin is so thin that the substances of the creams can penetrate their body through the skin, experts advise against putting sunscreen on babies in the first year of age.
● In children, the sweat glands have not yet reached full maturity. Sweating, which serves to allow the lowering of body temperature, is unable to perform its function until the third year of age. So first it is essential to make sure that children do not cool down or warm up too much. Taking care of such a delicate skin can seem arduous while it is much easier than you might think.
First of all, the best care for babies’ skin are cuddles and caresses , which stimulate spraying and increase its resistance. As for the bath , if the baby’s skin is healthy, it should be done a maximum of three times a week, while it should be limited to one or a maximum of two times in case of dry skin. The water temperature must be between 32 ° C and 35 ° C.
For cleansing, given that the bubble baths are too aggressive, you can opt for a special bath oil. Once the bath is finished, the baby must then be dried by dabbing all the folds of the skin, but without rubbing, because given the delicacy it could easily hurt or irritate itself.
As mentioned above, creams and lotions should be placed only and where the skin should be dry, choosing ad hoc products. Finally, when possible, let the naked little boy ride: the fresh air stimulates the cellular growth of the skin and makes it more resistant.