Should I be concerned about my baby´s skin rash?
One widely accepted myth among non-parents is that babies generally have perfect skin without any special care or maintenance. This myth probably has its origins in baby images that are used in advertising, which sport perfect skin. In reality, babies, and newborns in particular are very prone to a variety of rashes as their still developing skin and immune system are exposed to a variety of substances that can cause skin irritation. In fact, it is thought that the mother´s hormones to which the baby is exposed to prior to birth, are at least partly responsible for the many skin problems that many babies experience during their first few weeks of life. For new parents, who are anxious, understand that it is perfectly normal and very common for newborns to experience some skin problems.
Some of the common conditions that affect newborns are baby acne, and cradle cap. These are thought to be a result of the mother´s hormones affecting the baby´s still immature skin. These conditions generally do not require any treatment, and will naturally fade in a few weeks, when the maternal hormones wear off. Remember that you should never use acne products or dandruff products that are designed for adults to treat your baby´s skin condition as they are too harsh for a baby´s sensitive and thin skin. If the condition bothers your baby, have your pediatrician recommend an appropriate cleansing product. Jaundice is another condition that is extremely common in newborns, and in most cases, are harmless. If the jaundice is severe, however, call your doctor.
Babies will continue to have sensitive skin as their skin is very thin, and their immune systems are not fully developed, and has had no contact and experience with foreign infections from virus, bacteria, and fungus. These infections are commonly referred to as childhood diseases, and are often a one-time illness, after which the baby builds a lifelong or close to lifelong immunity to the illness. Chicken pox is probably the most widely known childhood illness.
Many infections will not clear unless properly treated through antibiotics or other medical intervention. They are distinguishable from other skin irritations as the rashes will be much more bright and prominent, and often accompanied by fever, fatigue, and other signs of physical illness. If you suspect that your baby may have a skin infection, contact your pediatrician as soon as possible.
In many cases, parents will be the best judges as they know their baby the best. Skin problems are very common in babies, and in the great majority of cases, they are harmless and temporary, however, parents should trust their intuition if they feel that their baby has an infection, or is otherwise ill.