Healthy skin for health­ier ba­bies

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The JOHN­SON’S ® Baby Healthy Skin Project is well on its way to im­prov­ing the health of more than three mil­lion South African ba­bies by 2020. This is how... YOUR BABY’S SKIN

is del­i­cate and needs spe­cial care, but did you know their skin is uniquely dif­fer­ent and con­tin­ues to de­velop be­yond the age of two? Ba­bies’ skin is their de­fence against the en­vi­ron­ment, pro­tect­ing them from in­fec­tion-caus­ing bac­te­ria. It is also 30% thin­ner than an adult’s skin and loses mois­ture up to five times faster. That’s why the pro­tec­tion of your baby’s skin bar­rier is so im­por­tant.

DR HLELA’S TIPS FOR HEALTH­IER BABY SKIN

It’s im­por­tant to use spe­cialised baby prod­ucts on your lit­tle one’s skin, as harsh clean­ers such as an­tibac­te­rial prod­ucts and adult prod­ucts may dry out and ir­ri­tate the skin, com­pro­mis­ing the pro­tec­tive bar­rier.

Scrub­bing with cleansers can dis­rupt the epi­der­mal bar­rier and weaken the baby’s nat­u­ral abil­ity to fight off in­fec­tion. Use a soft cloth to ap­ply prod­ucts and don’t rub too hard.

When the skin is dry, it can crack, al­low­ing in germs that may re­sult in in­fec­tion. To help pre­vent this, keep your baby’s skin mois­turised with emol­lients such as lo­tions, creams, oint­ments, and oils. Emol­lients act as a de­fence against bac­te­ria and viruses by cre­at­ing a lipid bar­rier be­tween the skin and the out­side en­vi­ron­ment.

If the skin has been dam­aged, dry and scaly patches may ap­pear. This could also re­sult in skin prob­lems such as im­petig­inised atopic eczema, a con­di­tion that af­fects the bar­rier func­tion and im­mune re­sponses, in­creas­ing the risk of in­fec­tion with bac­te­ria. So, keep skin healthy by keep­ing mois­ture in and in­fec­tions out.

MAK­ING A DIF­FER­ENCE

Know­ing that healthy skin is crit­i­cal to the de­vel­op­ment of health­ier ba­bies,

JOHN­SON’S ® Baby has launched The JOHN­SON’S ® Baby Healthy Skin

Project. The project is an aid and ed­u­ca­tion ini­tia­tive, with the aim of help­ing to pre­vent and re­duce the risk of skin in­fec­tions in ba­bies by pro­vid­ing moth­ers with free ac­cess to qual­ity, pri­mary health­care for their ba­bies, skin­care ad­vice and baby prod­ucts for better ev­ery­day health.

GET INVOLVED

Look out for The JOHN­SON’S ® Baby

Healthy Skin Project on so­cial me­dia and share our mes­sage with other moms. Join the con­ver­sa­tion and touch the lives of ba­bies by us­ing #john­sons­baby­health. Dr Carol Hlela (pic­tured) is a pae­di­atric der­ma­tol­o­gist at Red Cross War Me­mo­rial Chil­dren’s Hospital in Cape Town, and a lead­ing spe­cial­ist in baby and child skin­care.

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