During the summer season, you may have to care for your baby’s skin more. The heat brings in a variety of skin rashes and infections. For one, there’s prickly heat to worry about. This notorious rash appears as tiny, reddish, raised spots that dot the skin, most often under the neck, under the armpits, or across the groin areas. These are not really itchy. Rather, they often cause an irritating, prickling sensation on the skin. This occurs when sweat gland ducts become clogged and retain sweat. This can cause swelling, and sometimes infection, or cause the sweat glands to rupture. It is often induced by hot, humid weather, and also any condition that may cause increased sweating, such as high fever or even dressing too warmly.
You can prevent prickly heat by making sure you bathe your child every day, clothe him with light and breathable fabrics on warm days, keeping a towel around to wipe sweat off his skin, and keeping him in cool, well-ventilated rooms as well as limiting his exposure under the sun. Prickly heat clears up on its own by keeping your baby cool. Cornstarch and baking soda are old-school remedies but these may not be your best bet without seeking the doctor’s advice first. Misuse of these powdered medications may clog sweat glands even more. Keep your tot from scratching himself with his fingernails. Also avoid lotions and creams as these can lead to infections and allergies.
There are also days that you may spend swimming in the pool or beach. You have to think about not exposing your baby too long under the sun. Sunburn appears around six to 48 hours after extreme sun exposure. The skin appears red or burnt, coupled with tenderness, swelling, sometimes blistering and a fever. Excessive ultraviolet exposure carries lifetime consequences: increased chances of having skin cancer later in life, premature aging, and irreversible skin damage. Sunburn occurs when UV radiation goes beyond the protective capacity of melanin (the skin’s natural defense against overexposure to the sun). Lesser amounts of UV will often produce skin tanning, just as greater amounts of melanin in a person’s body creates a tan, rather than a sunburn.
To prevent your baby’s skin from burning, avoid exposing him under the heat of the sun between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. This is when the sun’s rays are at their most intense. Make sure you make him use protective clothing such as hats and long-sleeved, breathable tops. Even when your baby is protected, use sunblock with an SPF of at least 30. Apply it 30 minutes before you go out to allow the lotion or the spray to penetrate the deeper layers of the skin. Reapply generously every two hours or if your child has been in the water or is sweating a lot. If the sunburn is already there, apply cool compress with wet or cold towels on the infected area or put him in a cool bath. Also avoid applying products that contain benzocaine, lidocaine, or petroleum because these may cause allergic reactions. If his skin begins to peel, use hypoallergenic moisturizers.