Natural remedies to fix your baby’s skin woes

Protecting your baby's skin, naturally.
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By Harriet Farkash

There’s a war going on and it’s against chemicals. As more and more research sheds light on just how nasty some of the ingredients in skincare can be, it doesn’t hurt to read your labels and avoid those with questionable chemicals.

This is especially true when it comes to products for your little one because a new born baby’s skin is far more sensitive than an adults.

“A baby has just come out of being immersed in fluid for nine months and now the cells need to change to being a skin barrier to a dry environment,” explains dermatologist Dr Daniel Lazner.

Naturopath, Bridget Carmady advises using natural balms and salve.

While there’s no need to be overly dramatic and bin everything in your cupboards, here are some easy, safe and chemical-free ways to solve common skin problems your child might have.

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Nappy rash: “Nappy rashes occur because the skin is exposed under an occlusive environment,” says Dr Lazner. To counteract this air- and water-tight environment, Dr Lazner recommends letting your child lie with no nappy on a towel so their skin has a chance to breathe. In addition to this, Bridget Carmady, naturopath and founder of organic skincare range Clémence Organics, advises using natural balms and salves containing beeswax. “These can help by creating a barrier between the skin and the moisture, and also reduce inflammation,” she says.

Bites and stings: Prevention is always better than a cure, but beware of pesticides in bug sprays. “I do not like pesticides on the skin,” says Dr Lazner. He recommends applying bug spray to the baby’s – and your – clothes instead. If your child already has bites or stings, the most important thing is to stop the scratching. Bridget’s natural fix is to apply a dab of lavender oil to the bite, which can help reduce itching and redness.

Eczema: Eczema affects one in every five children under the age of two. “It is more common if a person has a family history of dermatitis, asthma or hay fever, and starts in the flexures,” says Dr Lazner. “Avoiding soap, sand, wool, overheating and any foods that cause a flare up will help.” Bridget says, “I’ve seen a lot of eczema in my years of practice. Applying a 100 percent natural anti-inflammatory balm can significantly reduce eczema symptoms overnight.”

Dribble rash: Babies are dribble machines, particularly when they’re teething. As with nappy rash, it’s the constant moisture on the skin that causes irritation and redness. “I recommend an all-natural salve (organic if possible as you’re applying it near the mouth) to create a barrier and reduce inflammation,” says Bridget. “Paw paw ointment is great. Just make sure it’s the natural one which doesn’t contain petroleum,” she adds.

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