Skin Care

Whether it’s diaper rash, eczema, or chapped cheeks and hands, it’s not uncommon for parents to encounter issues with their children’s skin. Keep these recommendations in mind to help them prevent and manage dermatological conditions.

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Parent counseling tips

Diaper rash prevention

Try to limit contact of urine and stool with the skin:

  • Change diapers frequently: Moisture from leaving a wet diaper on too long can cause the skin to chafe
  • Clean the skin: Use alcohol-free and fragrance-free wipes, or gently clean the skin with water and a non-soap cleanser
  • Coat the skin: A thick layer of petroleum or zinc oxide, like DESITIN® can create a barrier between the skin and diaper
  • Choose an absorbent diaper: The more absorbent the diaper, the better job it does of keeping the skin dry
  • Leave some breathing room: A loose diaper will be less likely to rub against the skin

Bathing tips

Recommend these safe bathing guidelines to new moms and dads:

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Keep baths short: Keep bath time to 10 minutes or less to avoid drying out the skin

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Stay cool: Hot water can dry out the skin, so keep the water temperature lukewarm

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Avoid bubble baths and scented soaps: They contain fragrances and other chemicals that can irritate or dry out the skin

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Don’t dry out, dry off: Rubbing the skin with a towel strips oils from the skin, so pat dry with a soft cotton towel and apply moisturizer from head to toe


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Choose the right soaps, detergents, and moisturizers

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  • Traditional soap vs liquid cleanser: Traditional soap dries out the skin more than non-soap cleansers. Avoid antibacterial soaps and be sure to use soaps that are hypoallergenic.
  • Moisturizers: Ointments contain the most oils, which are good for extremely dry skin. Creams are less thick but can provide moisture for the skin. Lotions are thinner and absorb easily.
  • Laundry and linens: Try using laundry detergents that are free of fragrances, dyes, or perfumes. Cotton or bamboo sheets and pillowcases can be less irritating to the skin than synthetic fabrics.

Managing eczema

Since there is no one trigger or cure for eczema, it can be difficult for parents to get their children’s eczema symptoms under control. Consider these recommendations:

  • Topical ointments: Pat your child’s skin dry after a bath and apply prescribed topical medicines before applying any moisturizers
  • Moisturize: Apply a gentle moisturizer, like AVEENO® Baby Daily Moisture Lotion, to help trap the water and moisturize to strengthen the skin’s moisture barrier
  • Nighttime moisture: Soothe, protect, and restore the skin barrier overnight with a lotion or balm like AVEENO® Baby Eczema Therapy Nighttime Balm
  • Reduce the itch: Keep your child’s fingernails short, dress them in loose-fitting clothing, and maintain an even temperature and humidity in your home
  • Avoid common irritants: Stay away from harsh detergents and soaps, and wool or other coarse fabrics; be sure to use lotions and sunscreens that are made for sensitive skin

Sun safety and protection tips

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Remind parents to enjoy the sun safely with their children:

  • Shade: Keep babies younger than 6 months out of direct sunlight
  • Exposure: Limit sun exposure between 10 AM and 4 PM when rays are strongest
  • Clothing: Dress your children in cool clothing that covers the arms and legs, and when possible, sunglasses and a brimmed hat
  • Sunscreen: Always apply sunscreen before spending time outdoors. Apply liberally, reapply every 2 hours, and be sure to keep sunscreen handy.

Good to know

Topical colloidal oatmeal formulations as adjunct treatment in atopic dermatitis (AD)

About 10% to 20% of all children suffer from AD, with 65% of them developing the disease during the first year of life and 90% before 5 years of age.1 Several international studies have shown that a colloidal oatmeal-based emollient (containing avenanthramides) is effective in reducing the clinical aspects of AD and improving patients’ quality of life. The studies have also shown that subjects using the emollient were less likely to use corticosteroids—an especially important benefit for pediatric patients.1

Colloidal oatmeal’s avenanthramide fraction has been shown to deliver antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antipruritic benefits, helping mitigate the itch and erythema associated with AD—which is particularly important because it helps reduce scratching and further barrier damage. For patients with AD, consider recommending an emollient with colloidal oatmeal.

Quality of life (QoL) improvement among children 5 to 16 years old using a colloidal oatmeal-based emollient for atopic dermatitis1

Quality of life chart

Multicenter European study: Children aged 5 to 16 years had a 72% improvement (significant) in their QoL from baseline.

Featured resources

Discover more skin care resources in the Resource Suite

REFERENCE: 1. Nebus J, Nollent V, Kizoulis MG. New learnings on the clinical benefits of colloidal oatmeal in atopic dermatitis. Supplement to Consultant for Pediatricians. 2014:1-4.