African American babies: Skin care


How should I take care of my baby’s skin? How to take care on black newborn hair and skin?

Keeping your baby’s skin soft and healthy starts with an understanding of its unique attributes and needs. A lot of African American and biracial babies have sensitive skin that’s susceptible to dryness and dark spots (hyperpigmentation).

At birth, your child’s skin is most likely to be a shade or two lighter than her eventual skin color. The skin will darken and reach its natural color in the first two to three weeks. This is a good time to begin thinking about a regular skin care routine.

Cleaning and bathing

Spending excessive time in a soapy tub can dry out a baby’s skin since bathing gets rid of the natural oils in addition to the dirt. A bath one or two times a week is plenty for African American infants, whose skin tends to be dry. (One exception may be if your baby has eczema.).

For the first week or two, until your newborn’s umbilical cable stump falls off and the area heals, it’s best to adhere to sponge baths with a lukewarm, moistened washcloth.

After the umbilical cord stump dries up, falls off, and the area heals, you can begin offering your newborn tub baths. While a baby is small, it makes one of the most sense to use the kitchen sink or a small plastic baby tub rather of a standard tub.

african american newborn hair and skin care



African American skin tends to be dry, and exceedingly dry skin can become itchy and uncomfortable. Regular use of a mild moisturizer can soothe and protect dry skin.

Dry flakes on the surface area of the skin might give darker skin an “ashy” look. Ashy skin can take place anywhere on the body however is typically discovered on the elbows, knees, legs, feet, and back. (The same dry skin cells are present on all shades of skin, but without the contrast against a darker background they’re less noticeable.)

Here are tips for relieving dryness with moisturizer:

  • Try to find a moisturizer that’s devoid of extreme or hazardous ingredients such as formaldehyde and 1,4-dioxane.
  • Try to find products that are totally free of alcohol and perfume, which can dry and aggravate the skin. Use thicker creams, rather than thin lotions, to treat ashy skin.
  • Moisturizers with ceramides are especially helpful in hydrating the skin.
  • Use the moisturizer within minutes of taking your baby out of the tub to seal in the moisture that’s still in her skin from the bath.

If your baby’s skin ends up being excessively dry and store-bought moisturizer isn’t helping, seek advice from a doctor, who may advise a medicated cream, cream, or ointment.

Sun protection

Your baby’s skin might be dark, light, or throughout between. The darker your baby’s skin, the more melanin it consists of. Melanin is a pigment that supplies natural protection versus the sun’s severe rays, so the darker a person’s skin, the longer it’ll take to get a sunburn.

Despite your baby’s skin color, you have to take care so that she does not burn. Limit the amount of time your baby spends in direct sunshine and apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen 20 to 30 minutes prior to you go out. Extreme sun exposure also dries out the skin and can cause heat rash.

What are the fluid-filled bumps on my baby’s chest?

It’s most likely transient neonatal pustular melanosis (TNPM), a harmless rash that affects as much as 5 percent of African American babies. It starts out as small white or pus-filled bumps, which can show up on the chin, forehead, neck, chest, lower back, and lower legs.

No one knows what causes TNPM. The sores burst in 24 to 48 hours and leave behind small flat brown spots. The dark marks typically vanish in two to three months without treatment.

Why is my baby’s skin so dry, flaky, and itchy?

Your baby might have eczema (also called atopic dermatitis), a rash caused by hypersensitivity of the skin.

Eczema happens in 17 percent of all children and is particularly typical in African Americans. It normally appears in infants in between 2 and 6 months of age, usually on the cheeks, forehead, scalp, and backs of the arms. In older children, eczema often appears on the skin behind the knees and elbows.

What eczema looks like

The affected areas are frequently red and rough with a rough, flaky texture. The condition may likewise appear as small identify bumps, called follicular eczema, the most typical enter African Americans.

In black toddlers, eczema may be complicated by extremely light spots that stand out versus the surrounding skin color. Some infants get light patches with alright white scale, a variation of eczema called pityriasis albam. Dark spots, or hyperpigmentation, may take place after the areas recover.

Eczema isn’t really contagious, however it’s normally itchy. As your baby ages, she may repeatedly rub and scratch the skin, which can make the area susceptible to infection.

What causes eczema

Nobody knows precisely what causes eczema, but genetics are thought to play a crucial role. A family history of eczema, allergic rhinitis (seasonal allergic reactions), and asthma raises the chances that your baby will establish eczema. (African Americans also have high rates of asthma and allergies.)

Tips for treating eczema

  • Talk with your baby’s doctor about how typically to bathe your baby. Numerous specialists now believe that day-to-day baths can be useful for infants with eczema.
  • Use a mild, fragrance-free soap and wash your baby at the end of the bath so she isn’t sitting in soapy water. (Wash your baby’s hair only once a week using a mild baby shampoo.).
  • Use a moisturizer within 3 minutes after the bath to lock in moisture.
  • Try not to let your baby get too hot and then cool quickly, as fast changes in temperature can make eczema even worse.
  • Help your baby prevent scratching by keeping her nails short and putting her to bed with cotton mittens or socks on her hands, if she’ll tolerate them. Scratching and rubbing can even more aggravate the skin and can lead to infection.

For severe cases, ask your baby’s doctor about using hydrocortisone cream. The normal 1 percent hydrocortisone formula can bleach African American skin, so ask the doctor about using a lower strength.

What’s the blue patch on my baby’s bottom?

That’s a Mongolian spot (dermal melanocytosis), a harmless birthmark common in African American infants. A minimum of one spot is present at birth on over 90 percent of Native Americans and individuals of African descent, over 80 percent of Asians, and over 70 percent of Hispanics. It’s not uncommon for a child to have more than one.

Mongolian spots vary in size and typically appear on the butts or lower back, however can likewise be found on the legs, back, and shoulders.

A Mongolian spot can be dark blue, purple, green, or gray, and may resemble a bruise. The spots are dense collections of melanocytes, the skin cells which contain the skin pigment melanin. When the melanocytes are near the surface, they look dark brown. The much deeper they are in the skin, the more bluish or purple they appear.

Mongolian spots usually disappear by age 3 or 4 and are almost always passed teenage years, although some never ever fade totally.

When should I seek advice from a doctor about my baby’s skin?

It’s best to seek advice from a doctor to assess and detect any rashes or unusual conditions that show up on your baby’s skin. Call the doctor if your baby has a fever associated with a rash, yellow crusting on eczema spots, or painful fluid-filled bumps.

If other concerns or issues arise, don’t think twice to bring them up at your baby’s next scheduled examination.


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