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Why does my newborn have dry skin?

June 4, 2021

What’s up with my newborn’s dry skin?

Newborns skin will often become flaky and peel for the first couple of weeks after birth.  In utero babies are covered in various fluids including amniotic fluid, blood, and vernix.  Vernix is the thick white layer that protects a baby’s skin in utero.  After birth the vernix is wiped off.  The skin will then peel and flake off over the next couple of weeks.  I always say the baby needs to molt.  There is no way to prevent the peeling however there are ways to make sure it does not persist or get worse.  Baby skin is very thin and sensitive.  It is very important to only use fragrance free and color free soaps, lotions and laundry detergents.  Many baby products have that amazing baby smell but those are the ones you want to avoid.  Other things that can overdry baby skin include over bathing, harsh chemicals, dehydration, cold air, and some genetic conditions.  If you are concerned about the dry skin or peeling ask your doctor if it appears normal.

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