Baby’s Dry Skin: Keeping Your Baby’s Skin Happy

Dry skin is a common problem for little ones. Babies have soft, sensitive skin, and this means that it can be prone to dryness. It’s not usually a cause for concern and may clear up on its own. However, there are things that you can do to help.


baby dry skin



What Causes Your Baby’s Dry Skin?


It’s almost a given that your little one will have dry skin at some point, so what causes it? One of the main causes is exposure to environmental factors, like cold temperatures and dry air. It can also be caused by a sensitivity to certain chemicals in products like washing detergent or soap. These things can extract the moisture from your baby’s skin, and as your little one’s skin is delicate, it can be more prone to these issues.


What Does Your Baby’s Dry Skin Look Like?


Baby’s dry skin can have a rough, flaky texture. You might see lines or cracks across their skin. Dry skin is more common on the hands, feet, lips and face, but it can happen anywhere. Dry skin can vary in severity, and while mild dryness probably won’t create too much bother, moderate or severe dryness can be very irritating. Your little one might try to scratch at the skin, which will irritate it more.


Dry Skin vs Eczema


One of the questions you might have about your baby’s dry skin is how to tell the difference between dry skin and eczema. If you have concerns, you should always check with your little one’s GP. However, there are some differences between dry skin and eczema.


Eczema Can Look Different To Baby’s Dry Skin


Baby’s dry skin, as we’ve said, can look rough and flaky. Eczema can look rough and flaky, but it will also look inflamed. It can be red on lighter skin and darker brown, purple or grey on darker skin.


Eczema Appears In Different Places


Eczema, like dry skin can show up in the same areas as dry skin, but it can also appear in other places. It most commonly affects the hands, insides of the elbows, backs of the knees, the face and scalp in children.


Eczema Flare Ups Can Be Triggered By Multiple Sources


Dry skin can get worse in cold, dry weather and through contact with irritants in products. Eczema can also be triggered by the weather and irritants, but it can also flare up from other factors. Things like food allergies or specific materials such as wool and synthetic fabrics can trigger eczema. Those with a history of eczema in the family are more prone to having the condition.


Treating Your Baby’s Dry Skin

There are a few things that you can do at home that might help soothe your little one’s dry skin.


  • Bathe your baby in warm water. Hot baths can leave your baby’s skin dry and irritated, so give your little one a bath in lukewarm water instead. Gently pat your baby’s skin dry, and don’t rub at it. It helps if you skip the daily baths, and only bathe your little one every other day instead.
  • Keep your little one warm in the cold weather. Layer up your little one’s clothing and try to keep mittens on their hands and a hat on their head. You might also want to use a baby lip balm on your little one’s lips to help protect them against the wind. You may be able to block some of the wind if you use a plastic rain cover on your stroller.
  • Pay attention to the temperature in your home. Hot air can dry out your little one’s skin, so consider what temperature your home is at. You might want to add a humidifier to add some moisture to the air.
  • Watch out for dribble and snotty mucus. Both dribble and snotty mucus can irritate your little one’s skin, so keep an eye out, and pat it away when you notice it.
  • Make sure your little one stays hydrated. If your baby is under six months, most of the hydration is going to come from breastfeeding or formula feeding.
  • Check your laundry detergent. You might need to change to one that has been developed for babies.
  • If you take your little one swimming, make sure that you rinse them afterwards. Chlorine in swimming pools, and salt from the sea can dry out your little one’s skin so it’s important to rinse off afterwards.


While these tips can help ease your little one’s dry skin, if you are concerned, or if you don’t see any improvement, then you may want to discuss it with your GP, healthcare advisor, or paediatrician.