The beauty and innocence of a small baby attract everyone. Everyone tends to pamper the soft cheeks or smooth chin. A baby’s skin is considered the softest and smooth one. The suppleness and beauty of a baby’s skin are described by poets to be compared with the most beautiful things on earth. But as soft and smooth the baby skin is, that much is the tendency of it to get irritated. Very small babies are mostly protected from skin rashes, thanks to the immunity got from the mother from her womb. Breastfed babies are also said to be having better immunity. But the child’s immune system takes time to develop completely. From birth onwards, the baby is getting in touch with new and strange things every day like air, water, clothes, shampoos, or food. Some of them may be harsh on the soft skin of a baby leading to localized or generalized allergic reactions. Thus, skin allergies in babies are almost always prone to allergies and skin manifestations are the most common.
Common Skin Conditions Include:
- Baby acne
- Baby eczema
- Atopic dermatitis
- Cradle crap
- Diaper rash
- Bug bites or urticaria
- Heat rash or Miliaria
- Skin rashes due to food allergy
- Erythema toxicum
Management Of Baby Skin Allergies In A Natural Way
In most cases, skin allergies are mild localized chemical reactions on the skin. They get relieved on their own by time and need no treatment. But in some babies, the condition spreads and gets worse with associated problems like itching, pain, or oozing. There is a chance of fever also if there is an infection along with the allergy eczema. In severe cases, medical intervention is needed. There are many lotions, creams, and ointments available in the market, for baby skin allergies. But some of them contain further harmful chemicals and preservatives. Parents do not want any harsh chemicals on their baby’s skin even in the form of medicine. It is always safe to use a natural remedy at home or a herbal formulation for a baby. While using any new product, be it natural or chemical-based, do not forget to do a patch test as a precaution.
Babies worldwide are suffering from various types of skin allergies. Ayurveda, the age-old traditional system of medicine, is being accepted by people around the world nowadays. Ayurveda uses completely herbal and organic formulations, based on the scientific principles and philosophical theorems of Ayurveda. Ayurveda sees the human body as a combination of three doshas, Vaata, Pitta, and Kapha. They are mutually contradictory yet mutually complementing functional units of the human body. When they are imbalanced, diseases manifest. Babies can develop skin problems due to food allergies or any contact allergies or microbe infestation. Almost all these conditions cause vitiation of Kapha and Pitta doshas. Ayurvedic herbs and medicines that pacify them are used in such cases.
Ayurvedic Management Of Treatment According To The Age Of The Baby
Ayurveda classifies babies into three groups.
- Only breastfed or babies up to 5/6months,
- babies who feed on breastmilk and other foods that are babies from six months to two years of age,
- children who have stopped drinking breast milk and eats all types of other foods. This category includes children above two years of age. Management of any disease, including skin allergies, depends upon the age of the baby.
- In babies who are only breastfed, internal medicines are given to the mother and only external applications are given to the baby. In almost all the diseases of babies under six months, internal medicines and dietary restrictions are advised to the mother. This will improve the quality of breastmilk which is the sole food of the baby. In skin reactions also, the mother is advised to avoid certain food like dairy products especially curd, nuts, pickles, spicy masala items, junk foods, etc. A homemade, easy-to-digest, fresh, and warm diet is advised.
For babies who are above six months but are still breastfed, internal medicines are given both to the baby and the mother. Dietary restrictions are given to both of them. The quality of breastmilk, as well as the mother’s and baby’s food items, should be carefully monitored. External medicinal applications can be given to the baby only.
In older children who are not breastfed, internal medicines, external applications, and dietary restrictions are prescribed only for the child.
Some of the common herbal Ayurvedic formulations used in skin allergies of babies include:
- Vilwadi gulika
- Nimbadi kashayam
- Aragwadhadi kashayam
- Nalpamaradi choornam
- Eladi choornam
Management of skin rashes in babies needs a proper examination and professional advice. In many cases, medicines are not needed. They will go away on their own. An Ayurveda physician can evaluate the condition and prescribe medicines suitable for the baby. In some children, the Ayurvedic way of deworming (includes both worms and microbes) will be enough to clear the skin rashes. In some others, only the avoidance of the allergic food item will cure the disease. In other cases, internal medicines along with dietary restrictions and external applications will be needed. Regular washing of the affected area with herbal decoctions is found useful in reducing the skin rashes along with complaints like itching or burning sensation. Combinations like Triphala choornam, nalpamarachoornam, neem leaves or eladi choornam are used to be boiled in water and made into a decoction for this purpose. Such decoctions with normal temperature can be taken for bathing very small babies regularly. Herbal paste with herbs like neem leaves may be applied externally.
If the baby’s condition suits the application of oil, medicated oils like eladi tailam, nalpamaradi tailam, lakshadi tailam, durvadi tailam, etc can be used for massaging before bath. Once the skin rashes are relieved, virgin coconut oil can be used for further care of the skin. It is better to avoid the use of any soap, shower gel, powder, or lotion in the baby’s skin. Application of oil after the bath should be advised if not advised otherwise. In most cases, the skin allergies become better as age advances due to mature skin and improved immunity.
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