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The fight to deal with dry skin on a young baby

By 13:19:00 , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

When Baby J was approximately 7 months old, Cotswold Dad and I went with friends to Centreparcs in Longleat. As our first holiday away I thought I had packed everything but it turns out I had forgotten something - sun cream.

I was actually in the middle of a lake on a pedalo at the time, when I realised my mistake. Out of the shade of the trees and with a clear blue sky above us, the heat of the sun was hotter than I had anticipated and now J was exposed in only shorts, t-shirt, lifejacket and sun hat. For the hour or so we were on the lake I did my best to keep him shaded as much as I could and fortunately he did not burn, but it seems the repercussions were longer lasting.

A few weeks after we got back I noticed that the skin on one of J's legs was slightly dry, and for a few days I just kept an eye on it. Increasingly, the dry skin seemed to spread to both legs and covered his knees & thighs. His legs looked red and when you touched them they went white for a moment and back to red. He wasn't bothered in the slightest but I knew something wasn't right so I went to see one of our local health visitor.

I was assured it was just one of those things that some babies get, I was given some Hydromol cream and as far as I was concerned that was it. I started applying the cream, his skin improved and I thought the problem was solved. Within a few days I noticed the improvement was ceasing and he was still suffering from dry skin on his legs and a few weeks later it was on his arms too. But still he wasn't in pain and was spending a lot of time on the carpet so I assumed that this was the explanation.

When J went for his 9 month check up I saw the other health visitor - who has given me some excellent advice in the past. She noticed the dry skin and was concerned stating that if untreated this could lead to eczema in the future. It was suggested that we got an appointment with the GP.

When I returned home, I immediately went on the internet to see what I could do as we would probably have to wait at least a week or so for an appointment with the GP. I decided first to try some of the lotions we'd been given as gifts at the baby shower, christening etc. I tried the Johnsons baby lotion (pink bottle) and initially like the Hydromol this seemed to help for a few days but within 2 weeks wasn't doing anything at all.

I'd heard about Aveeno Lotion through some of the online forums I silently frequent and one day, whilst shopping in Tesco's on my lunch hour, I noticed they had it on special offer for approx £3 so I bought some. Since trying this and applying it twice a day there was definitely a major improvement but for me the real breakthrough came after reading an article in the Daily Mirror.

My Mum was aware of our struggles with the dry skin and one day there was an article in the Daily Mail about skin issues (primarily Eczema) in children. As well as recommending the Aveeno Lotion it suggested a possible cause that I had never considered, J's bedtime routine. In a previous post, I have detailed our successful bath bottle bed routine which we do nightly, but the article suggested the daily bath was the reason for the dry skin.

We've been using the Johnson's top to toe bath more or less since day one so I do not feel that this is responsible (but saying that as soon as we run out of our current bottle we will switch to the Aveeno bath oil), however I thought I would change the routine so that J has baths every other day instead and since we started this a few weeks ago, I have already seen a significant improvement in his skin.

This is an ongoing fight and whilst we are in control we have not yet won. We will be shortly changing his bath lotion and I am hoping this will help further alleviate the issue. Fortunately, J isn't bothered by the dry skin, but he isn't keen on having the cold lotion on his legs first thing in the morning or after a nice warm bath and who can blame him.

I'll keep you up to date as to how we get on, but in the meantime if anyone has any suggestions from their own experiences, please comment below.

(I have no affiliation with any of the companies named here)

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