During the summer months our skin is prone to burns, peeling, heat rash and dryness. Your baby’s skin is no different. Your baby’s largest organ – the skin, is sensitive and sometimes requires some extra TLC to keep it in good shape. Hot and humid weather can affect the skins natural barrier function, leaving it red, itchy and sore. So, If there’s one item that’s always in-season and a must have for the nappy bag, it’s barrier cream.
Barrier cream does what the name suggests – it acts as a barrier, shielding the skin from potential irritants. The skins most vital function is to keep what’s good in and the bad out. Barrier cream prevents water loss via the skin and stops any further breakdown by acting as a topical barrier. By providing protection from potential irritants and keeping moisture in, they create the ideal environment for damaged skin to repair.
One of the most common summer skin conditions, caused by irritation and breakdown of the natural skin barrier, is nappy rash. Nappy rash leaves your baby’s skin red, raw and tender. Throughout infancy, almost all babies will at some stage experience nappy rash. No matter how well you care for your baby’s skin, this common rash is almost inevitable. While it can appear during any month, your baby’s delicate skin is more susceptible to nappy rash during the warmer months.
Summer time sees us enjoying adventures that include the sun, sea and sand. All of which can cause and or exacerbate skin issues. So, what can you do to save your skin and prevent an unsettled, irritable baby with a sore bottom?
- - After swimming and bathing, always ensure that your baby’s nappy area is dry and if there’s any sign of irritation, apply a barrier cream, containing the active ingredient Zinc Oxide, to protect your baby’s skin from excess moisture and promote healing.
- - When it comes to absorbency, not all nappies are created equal. It’s important to know your nappy and understand how frequently you should be changing your baby to protect the skin from the acidity of a soiled nappy. Disposable nappies have a greater absorbency and can be changed roughly every 5 hours or when soiled. Cloth nappies aren’t able to draw moisture away from the skin in the same way and should be changed every 1-2 hours. It’s also important to remember that, like us, babies increase their fluid intake during warmer weather. This will inevitably mean more wet nappies, so more frequent changing is required.
- - Dab don’t drag. During washing or drying, make sure you’re gently dabbing baby’s skin. This will avoid further friction and damage to the skin’s barrier.
- - Get back to basics and bare the bottom. Aim for nappy-free time at least once a day. This gives your baby’s skin a chance to breathe and provides free-time from possible irritants.
While nappy rash can occur any time of year, some baby skin issues appear more frequently in the summer months. Knowing when, how and why to use barrier cream, to aid in the healing of such rashes, is important.
how and when to use the barrier cream
Save your beach babe from chafe – whether you’re enjoying time at the beach or swimming in a pool, your little one’s skin is at risk of chafe and irritation. Sun safety is important, so covering up is a must. However, all that covering up can come at a cost. If your baby is sat in a wet swim nappy or sun-safe swimsuit for an extended period of time it can lead to breakdown of the skins barrier and cause a nasty rash. You can avoid this by applying a barrier cream in the creases/folds of baby’s skin or in areas where the nappy or swimsuit rubs.
Seasons change – If your little one experiences dry or patchy skin with the change of season or you notice dry skin around the nostril during a cold, apply barrier cream to aid in healing.
To keep your baby’s skin as soft as the day she was born and promote healing when damage to the skin’s natural barrier has occurred, use a barrier cream that contains the ingredient Zinc Oxide. Zinc Oxide relieves and reduces inflammation and skin irritation. Apply a thick layer of barrier cream to affected areas of skin and avoid itching or further irritation.
Barrier Cream is a bit of a fix-all. Most parents carry around a nappy bag that contains just about everything under the sun, including this sensation salve. So, spring into summer with confidence by including a barrier cream in your baby’s safe summer skincare routine.
about the author
Erin is a mother of four, a registered midwife and a childbirth educator. Passion, and a desire to help couples navigate parenthood with confidence is what drives Erin to provide educational content via @thebirthtrust and to facilitate evidence-based childbirth education classes.
Through her midwifery practice and the educational classes and content she provides via @thebirthtrust she endeavours to educate and empower women, enabling them to begin their transition to motherhood feeling confident and supported.