Why Is My Newborn’s Skin Peeling And What To Do About It?

The first sight of baby can be quiet exciting after birth. Newborn when they emerge are tiny and wet often with their head slightly pointed as a result of passing through the birth canal. As days pass, several changes take place in a new born.

Some first time parents often worry about every single change that they observe in their baby. They frequently check whether everything is alright. It is natural for parents to look after and care the baby for his well being. It is common for a newborn to develop some changes in his body after birth.

Knowing the changes such as skin peeling, rash, flexed elbow and legs, are normal will ease parents worry.

What Are The Causes Of Newborn’s Skin Peeling Off?

Several changes occur within a week in a new born after birth which also includes skin changes. All these changes are normal and parents should not worry. Changes can occur in baby’s complexion and color of hair, the previously bluish tinged hands and legs may appear pink.

Skin peeling within few days after birth is normal in newborns. The skin can peel from any part such as the hands, legs, ankles, soles.

Peeling of top layer of skin is common in first few days after the vernix has been removed. When in the womb, the new born is covered with many types of fluids such as the amniotic fluid, vernix, and blood.

Vernix is creamy white substance which covers and protects the baby from amniotic fluid when inside the womb. After birth vernix is washed away during the first bath. Once vernix goes away the underlying skin begins to shed off in few days. This phenomenon is normal. However, the severity of peeling may be different in every baby.

It depends whether the baby has been delivered on time, or prematurely or after the due date. If baby is premature than he has more vernix on his skin which means his skin will peel in less amount. Babies born according to due date or late may shed more top layer of skin. Skin peeling in such cases is normal and it makes way for the underlying new skin.

Rarely skin peeling and dryness is caused by atopic dermatitis. It may be accompanied with red patches, dry skin, and itching. The exact cause of this condition is not known, but factors like exposure to chemicals present in soaps and shampoos cannot be ruled out.

If the baby is born with icthyosis, a genetic condition since birth, his skin may peel and become dry frequently. Icthyosis cannot be cured but regular application of moisturizing creams will help to relieve dryness and make the skin soft.

What To Do About Newborn Skin Peeling?

Peeling of skin in newborn is normal and usually it requires no treatment. However, if parents are worried or if the skin becomes overly dry, here are some simple measures to protect the skin.

  • Reduce the bathing time as bathing for long time can rob away skin oil. Also use lukewarm water instead of hot water. Use baby soaps as it is gentler to baby’s skin instead of regular soaps.
  • Apply a good moisturizer all over the newborn’s skin. The best results are found when it is applied soon after bath. It seals the moisture in the skin if applied after bath and keeps the skin supple and smooth.
  • Always keep the baby hydrated to prevent dryness of skin. If there is sufficient supply of breast milk, the newborn should be fed breast milk frequently.
  • Prevent exposure of the baby to cold air as it increases dryness and cause peeling of the delicate skin.

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