The first month after the birth requires a lot of adaptation by the baby as well as the parents. After spending 9 months in a safe, warm atmosphere of mother’s womb, the baby faces the world for the first time. The baby is not yet adapted to the outside environment. It takes some time to get adjusted to the external conditions. During this phase the skin of the baby, which is very delicate faces a few issues. The skin of the infant shows signs of irritation in the form of rashes, redness and eruptions.
The skin infections in the infants are enough to make the parents tense and anxious. Today in this blog, we will discuss about the five common skin infections seen in infants.
1. Cradle cap (Seborrheic Dermatitis): Cradle cap or Seborrheic Dermatitis is characterized by formation of thick yellowish or whitish greasy scales on the scalp of the infant. Sometimes it may spread to ears and face also.
This condition is not contagious and it does not itch. Sometimes it is mistaken for infantile eczema but the differentiating point between the two is that the Infantile Eczema gives rise to itch while the Cradle Cap is a non-itchy eruption.
Cradle Cap is generally a self limiting condition. Maintain good scalp hygiene by washing the scalp with mild shampoo is recommended and it is beneficial. One should consult the doctor if the condition worsens and if the infection spreads to the nearby regions.
2. Infantile Eczema: This is the most common skin condition seen in infants. The Infantile Eczema presents itself with dry and itchy skin mostly on the cheeks and fold of the joints.
Infantile eczema develops due to the dryness of the skin. It gets worsened in winter as the skin becomes dry in winter. Almost, all infants suffer from this condition and most of the time Infantile Eczema is self limiting. It subsides once the baby is adapted to the external environment. The doctor may advise to apply a good quality baby moisturizer or baby oil on the skin to prevent the dryness of the skin.
3. Milia: This is another very common skin condition seen in the newborn babies. Milia is characterized by very tiny, white elevations on the skin mostly around the nose, chin and cheeks. Milia is a self limiting condition and do not require any treatment. Washing the baby’s face with warm water and mild soap is recommended to prevent the secondary infections.
4. Oral Thrush: Oral thrush is also called as Oral Candidasis. It presents itself in the form of whitish or creamy patch inside the oral cavity of the infant. It may be seen on the tongue, inner side of the cheeks and palate of the baby. Oral Thrush is a type of a fungal infection. It is a very common condition seen in infants.
Due to Oral Thrush the baby is unable to swallow the milk and this may lead to refusal of feeds. It is advisable to consult the doctor for the treatment of Oral Thrush.
5. Diaper rash: It is a kind of dermatitis characterized by formation of bright red rashes and patches on the buttocks of the infant. It is caused by irritation of the skin because of the soiled diaper or constant friction of the extremely delicate skin with the cloth of the diaper. An infant suffering from diaper rash may show irritability and crying especially while changing the diaper. It is advisable to keep the bottoms of the baby dry and putting loads of mild baby powder around the bottoms of the baby. Sometimes, mother takes a long time in changing the soiled diaper. This causes the delicate skin of the baby to come with contact with ammonia gas produced by urine or harmful bacterias of stools of the baby.
It is advisable to change the diaper as soon as it is soiled by the baby. If the diaper rash does not subside for many days and it starts oozing out the pus, a pediatrician should be consulted without wasting much time.
These are the five common skin infections seen in infants.