Dry baby skin: 20 reasons and 10 care products

Baby skin is very thin and delicate, it needs special care and immediately reacts to any factors – internal and external. Dermatological abnormalities may be physiologically normal, especially in newborn babies. After all, their body is just beginning to adapt to the conditions of the new environment of life, so for some time the epidermis on the body in a baby can peel and dry.

However, in older children, the causes of these symptoms have nothing to do with physiology. In any case, the situation should not go unheeded and appropriate responses from adults. If you determine the cause of dryness of the epidermis in a child, you can eliminate the problem without consequences for the health of the little patient.

Dry baby skin: 20 causes and 10 remedies to care for

A bit of statistics

If you believe the statistics, dryness and peeling of the skin in young patients is noted in 76%. In the overwhelming number of cases, these abnormalities are associated with a premature pregnancy or a violation of the thermal regime. And only 22% of babies have these symptoms as a result of allergic reactions. And in 13% of babies in the first year of life, xerosis is a consequence of atopic dermatitis.

Normal skin in a child: how it should be?

A healthy baby skin is soft, smooth, tender and velvety to the touch. No flaking, redness, inflammation. But it only becomes so closer to two years of age, when the stratum corneum becomes thicker.

Newborn babies may have certain skin imperfections. And they will not be considered pathological abnormalities if they do not cause your baby any discomfort or pain. In terms of color, healthy skin in a child should be soft pink, in terms of density – elastic, which indicates good turgor.

20 Causes of Dry Skin in Babies

Excessive dryness of the epidermis in children may be caused by external and internal factors. They occur with almost equal frequency, and sometimes intertwine with each other.

10 exogenous causes of children’s dry skin

Nonpathological, that is, external factors that provoke dry skin in children include:

  1. Improper care.Baby skin needs special care at all times of the year. It is important to use only special soft care cosmetics designed for children. Hygienic products for adults are not suitable!

  2. The influence of ultraviolet light. Baby skin is still too weak to fully resist the damaging effects of UV radiation. So you should not keep your baby in the sun for more than 5 minutes. Even on the beach, it must be in the shade for most of the time spent at the body of water.

  3. Overheating, extremely dry indoor air. The body thermoregulation of a child’s body is incomplete, less developed than that of an adult. Therefore, in a stuffy room with insufficient moisture content, the epidermis overheats very quickly, even the moisture particles that remained in the underlying dermal layers evaporate from it. The same happens when parents wrap up their baby too much.

  4. The influence of the cold air.Children’s skin can suffer not only from the heat, but also from the cold. Under the influence of low temperatures it becomes irritated, red, dry and flaky.

  5. Unbalanced diet.The risk group includes primarily breastfed children. Even the most expensive formula cannot replace breast milk. Older children often have fast food, chips, crisps and other unhealthy foods in their diet. Not only do they not provide the necessary vitamins, but they can also cause allergies.

  6. Using poor-quality diapers. Each child’s skin reacts differently to such hygiene products. Dryness and irritation are the most common types of disorders of the epidermis of babies in response to diaper use. The risk of allergies increases when buying products made of low-quality, synthetic, poorly “breathable” materials.

  7. Hygiene products.Aggressive soap or gel, shampoo or bath foam – products that cause irritation, redness, dryness and peeling of the child’s epidermis after bathing. This can only be avoided by a correct and responsible approach to the selection of such products.

  8. Clothing and footwear made from synthetic materials. Artificial fabrics irritate the skin, so dryness may not be the only problem. Parallel to it may well appear rashes, peeling, itching and other signs of allergy or irritation of the epidermis.

  9. Aggressive household chemicals. Children’s clothes need to be washed much more often than adults. However, ordinary powders contain aggressive chemicals that are harmful to children’s skin. They cause dryness, peeling and even extensive inflammation.

  10. Abuse of antiseptics.Alcohol-based products dry the skin, as do other disinfectants. Frequent use leads to dehydration of the epidermis, which is manifested by xerosis, peeling, and cracking.

Exclusion of the influence of the above factors on children’s bodies contributes to the self-elimination of problems with excessive dryness of the skin.

10 pathological causes

Dry skin in your baby: 20 causes and 10 tools to care for it

Causes of dry skin in children of different ages can be not harmless. Sometimes they are associated with certain diseases:

  1. Allergies. Most often, xerosis is a consequence of contact or food, less often – a drug allergic reaction. Eliminate unpleasant symptoms with the help of special antihistamines.

  2. Dehydration of the body.This is a dangerous condition that can seriously harm the body. The skin is one of the first to react, and the main sign is its dryness and cracking.

  3. Poor circulation. Such a deviation causes the skin to deprive it of necessary nutrients, oxygen and fluids. Therefore, it may not only become dry, but also change its color, become pale, and to the touch – cold.

  4. Parasitic infections. For example, with worm infestations, the skin dries and flakes, and itchy rashes appear on its surface. Parasitic skin infections such as demodicosis, scabies, etc. can have several causes., – If the skin is dry, these pathologies are accompanied by a whole complex of symptoms. In any case, you need to consult a doctor and prescribe an adequate therapy.

  5. Dermatitis.Allergic, contact, atopic, “sunny” – all these types of disease affect not only adults, but also children. Dryness, redness, peeling and edema of the skin are the main clinical manifestations of inflammatory dermatological pathology. And in photodermatosis the epidermis, in addition, may be covered with fluid-filled blisters.

  6. Endocrine disorders.Diabetes mellitus is the most common cause of dry skin in young patients, if we talk about endocrine disorders. In adolescents, however, xerosis often occurs due to changes in the thyroid gland, which is responsible for the production of hormones that affect metabolic processes in the body.

  7. Ichthyosis. It is a chronic, often genetic disease accompanied by hyperkeratosis. Dead particles of the epidermis do not have time to exfoliate and accumulate in one place, forming scales. The disease is not curable, and the skin of a sick child needs constant and painstaking care.

  8. Hypovitaminosis.In particular, the culprits of dry epidermis are often deficiencies of vitamins A, C and E, which are responsible for ensuring the proper functioning of the skin.

  9. Nervous disorders. Neuroses and stress at a child’s age, unfortunately, are not uncommon. They also negatively affect the skin, causing its dryness and itching without redness or rashes. Specific treatment in such a situation is usually not required.

  10. Iron deficiency anemia.Hemoglobin is responsible for transporting oxygen to all tissues and cells in the body. Lack of it leads to oxygen starvation, which also affects the skin. Dryness, flaking, and paling are the main dermatological manifestations of anemia. But along with them, there are other symptoms that, if they occur, it is necessary to take the child to the doctor.

If the use of children’s cosmetics does not help to soften and moisturize the dry epidermis properly, then the cause lies not in external factors. Pathological provocateurs of xerosis cannot be dealt with independently. When it comes to the disease, only turning to a specialist will be the only right solution.

Localization of dryness and its possible causes

You can roughly determine the causes of dry skin in a child by the exact location of its foci:

  1. Feet.If your child has dry skin mainly on the feet, you need to pay attention to the shoes he wears. It can be made of low-quality materials, or it can squeeze, rub, “float” the foot. This can also cause dryness and flaking. But a fungal infection is no less common.

  2. Hands, palms.Most often, the dryness in these areas is due to the use of improper cosmetics, care and hygiene products. The lack of humidity in the room can also cause a nasty symptom with this localization of its source.

  3. Neck and face.In this case, the cause of dry epidermis in children is often the use of hard water for washing and bathing. On the back and abdomen, too.

Of course, the provocateurs of xerosis may well be different diseases. So if it stays dry for a long time, it’s a good reason to see a doctor.

When is help from a specialist needed??

Dry skin in a child: 20 reasons and 10 remedies

Contact a neonatologist (if we are talking about an infant), or pediatric dermatologist when accompanied by dry skin in a child:

  1. redness;

  2. Itching;

  3. swelling;

  4. Peeling;

  5. General malaise;

  6. An increase in body temperature;

  7. Mood swings;

  8. noticeable anxiety;

  9. Sleep and appetite disorders.

The clinical picture may be complemented by other symptoms that should not be ignored. Self-treatment is not permitted in such cases!

Top 10 creams and ointments for children’s skin care

To soften the baby’s epidermis and, if necessary, to eliminate abnormal dryness, flaking and rashes, it is possible to use cosmetic or therapeutic products. The most popular form is an ointment or cream for delicate baby skin. Following the advice of dermatologists, it is best to choose care products from the following list.

10 best creams and ointments for children’s skin care1Bepanten680 €
2Sudocrem430 €
3Desitin400 €
4Solcoseryl915 €
5Calendula ointment85 €
6Fenistil520 €
7Atopic cream765 €
8Little Red Riding Hood cream with D-panthenol500 €
9Ummka baby cream120 €
10Mustela Stelatopia Emollient Cream1630 €


Rating: 4.9


Dexpanthenol-based ointment and cream, which has a gentle soothing, wound-healing, soothing effect. The components of the product create an invisible but firm protective film on the surface of the epidermis. Through the action of the active substances of the cream and ointment is the removal of skin irritation and itching. The medicine is useful for diaper or atopic dermatitis, as well as for the prevention of diaper rash in infants. It is suitable even for the most delicate and sensitive baby skin.


Rating: 4.8


The ointment contains zinc oxide, thanks to which it has antiseptic and moisturizing properties. It is able to penetrate deep into the dermis, moisturizing it at the cellular level and stimulating regenerative processes.

Sudocrem must be applied on cleansed skin. Therefore, it is better to perform the procedure after bathing the baby. The drug rarely causes adverse reactions, which usually take the form of allergies. It is better not to apply it on a child’s face area, in order to avoid undesirable effects.


Rating: 4.7


Soft cream designed for the treatment and prevention of dry skin in children of different ages. Thanks to its safe composition the ointment may be used even for treating the epidermis of newborn babies. The active ingredient is zinc, which moisturizes and regenerates damaged skin areas.

The principle of using the ointment is the same as in Sudocrem. Apply a thin layer to cleansed and dry problem areas several times a day.


Rating: 4.6


The ointment is used for therapeutic purposes. It is good for healing wounds and cracks, removes peeling, fights with dry skin. The product processed from the blood of young calves is the main component. At the same time, all the protein fractions are completely removed from it.

The ointment normalizes the oxygen circulation in the skin. The medicine moisturizes and protects the epidermis well, helps to activate the process of cell regeneration.

Apply the product twice a day with a thin layer. Solcoseryl usually does not cause any side effects, but since we are talking about a child’s body, we cannot rule out the risk of allergies. Therefore, after the first use of the ointment, it is necessary to closely monitor the reaction of the baby’s skin to the new substance.

Calendula ointment

Rating: 4.5

Calendula ointment

This is a natural remedy that contains a natural antiseptic, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and soothing component – calendula extract. It normalizes metabolic processes in epidermal cells, thus accelerating the process of regeneration.

This ointment can be used to treat dry skin, even on newborn babies. It is applied in thin strips to the problem areas and rubbed in with gentle massaging movements until completely absorbed. Before using the product, it is recommended to test its components for sensitivity. If allergic reactions are manifested, the drug should be discontinued.


Rating: 4.4


This is a medicinal product, available as a gel for external use. It has anti-itching and soothing properties. It can be used for allergic etiology of dryness of children’s skin and the presence of other unpleasant symptoms.

The gel is applied to clean and completely dry areas of the epidermis once or twice a day. The duration of use is determined on an individual basis, since it is important to assess the extent of the lesion and the causes of xerosis.

Atopic cream

Rating: 4.3

Atopic Cream

Baby cream with a delicate and soft texture that absorbs well into the epidermis. It is designed specifically for skin prone to atopy.

The components of the product soften and nourish, relieve irritation, itching and burning. It removes dryness and gives a feeling of comfort for a long time. After using the cream the epidermis becomes soft and velvety, scales disappear from its surface, fissures and wounds heal. Even hypersensitive epidermis can be treated with this cream. The only contraindication to the use of the cream is an individual intolerance of children’s body components means.

Red Riding Hood” Cream with D-panthenol

Rating: 4.2


A soft baby cream with D-panthenol and provitamin B5 is used for the treatment and prevention of dry skin. It takes effect almost immediately after application. Thanks to its texture, the product is absorbed fairly quickly, after which the epidermis is softened, the disappearance of signs of irritation and peeling.

The cream has strong anti-inflammatory activity. It can be applied under the diaper to avoid diaper rash. It should be used after bathing or washing the baby. The period of use of the cosmetic product is unlimited.

Ummka baby cream

Rating: 4.1

Ummka baby cream

A universal cosmetic product formulated for the care of children’s skin. It is used for treating dryness and irritation of the epidermis in order to soften and moisturize it.

The cream is good for relieving inflammation due to its inclusion of an extract derived from aloe leaves. And Chinese tea makes the skin soft and smooth, removes redness and diaper rash. The product can be used for different parts of the body, where there is dryness and flaking. It can also be applied under the diaper. It is recommended to apply the cosmetic product after hygiene procedures.

Mustela Stelatopia Emollient Cream

Rating: 4.1


Soft cream for dry, sensitive and very sensitive skin. Designed for long-term use, it can be used for different types of dermatitis of non-infectious genesis. When used regularly, the product activates the processes of self-repair and self-moisturizing of the skin at the cellular level. Cosmetic product reduces discomfort in problem areas.

All the effects of the cream are due to its composition. The active ingredients of the product are avocado seed oil and organic sunflower oil distillate.

Precautions when caring for dry baby skin

Dry skin in children is exaggeratedly problematic and causes a lot of trouble for both the baby and his parents. It requires not only special care, but also a very careful attitude, because the slightest misstep can lead to its injury. Therefore, young parents should observe the following precautions if their baby has excessive dryness of the epidermis:

  1. Do not use soap for hygiene procedures too often, as it dries the skin even more;

  2. Use only soft sponges made from natural materials;

  3. In no case do not use medicines at your discretion, if the dryness of the epidermis in the baby is pathological in nature.

And most importantly: do not neglect the use of moisturizers. baby oils and creams should be used regularly, daily, after every hygiene routine!

General recommendations for the prevention of dry skin in children

For the prevention and treatment of xerosis in infants and preschool children, the same techniques and rules should be followed:

  1. Limit the time your baby spends in the water.The only exception is if the liquid was thoroughly boiled or filtered before use for hygiene procedures. In addition, exposure of the child to hot water should be excluded. It must be comfortable for the baby’s skin, only then will it be able to maintain the protective barrier located on the surface of the epidermis.

  2. Use only mild and delicate hygienic bath products. And be sure to use a special, children’s. If it contains a cream or other emollient, it is even better. Especially carefully choose baby bath gels or soaps. Means with chamomile, calendula or other medicinal plants will also be very good for the baby.

  3. Observe the regime of hygienic procedures.Even using mild gels and shampoos from a children’s cosmetics line, you should not use them daily. It is enough to do it 2-3 times a week.

  4. Treat your child’s skin with a moisturizer after every wash or bath. There are special lotions, creams and oils for babies and toddlers, which moisturize the epidermis well and protect it from the harmful effects of external factors.

  5. Choose clothes only from natural fabrics. Synthetics are a major enemy of the skin, not only in children, but also in adults. But it is children’s epidermis that reacts the most strongly to artificial materials. So you have to buy clothes for your baby made of cotton, linen and other natural fabrics.

  6. Use only children’s household chemicals for laundry– Gels, powders, laundry soap. This applies not only to clothing, but also to bed linen, and even the fabric upholstery of the stroller.

  7. Combat dry indoor air. Frequent airing is a natural way to humidify the air. You can also buy a special machine that will ensure optimal humidity in the baby’s room.

  8. Dress the child according to the weather conditions.You should not wrap your baby too tightly, as it only harms his skin and body in general. Clothing should be chosen so that in cold weather the baby is not cold, but does not overheat, and in hot weather – does not sweat too much.

  9. Provide a complete drinking regime. Natural hydration of the skin occurs when there is sufficient fluid in the child’s body. And it is especially necessary in hot weather, when the baby sweats more. Infants in this case it is recommended to give them to the breast more often, and artificially-fed children should be regularly given a bottle of water.

Proper baby skin care is the best prevention of dryness. If you follow the simple rules described above, you will not have to take any additional measures. But when xerosis is pathological in nature, consultation with a doctor is strictly mandatory.

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