Looking for Advice on Sensitive Baby Skin

Updated on December 21, 2010
B.K. asks from Waterford, MI
16 answers

My son is almost 11 months old. He has SUUPPPER sensitive skin. He has had these pimples/blackheads on his cheek since he was about 5 months old, they WILL not go away. He also has developed what the dr.'s call irratiation on his chin/cheeks. It is dry skin that is bright red, maybe from all the drool?? They haven't used the word excema yet but thats what I'm thinking. As for his face we put aquaphor on the red spots multiple times per day and once a day we use hydrocortisone cream. My gorgeous baby face is gone :( He's had this red rashy face for about 2 months and it's not going away!

He also has dry skin all over his body. We do lotion him up after his baths with regular baby lotion. Is there any brand of lotion thats better than others?? Any tips or tricks you mommies know? I'm super frustrated with the docs not giving me any help or answers?!?!

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answers from Detroit on

I went through this same EXACT thing with my now 17-month-old son. Baby acne that appeared in infancy and never really went away. And then he got really dry, patchy, blotchy skin last winter (when the air was dry). I ended up removing dairy from his diet this summer and it has helped immensely. Whenever he gets some kind of dairy, I can tell because his cheeks really flare up again. His skin is still dry with the weather being dry again but I just lather him up with lotion every morning and evening and it seems to keep the red blotchiness away - so it's nothing like last winter.

It never seemed to bother him but I just felt bad about it... But removing dairy has helped a lot.



answers from Atlanta on

Renew Intensive Therapy lotion is the only thing that will work. It is not only healing but will prevent problems as well. Try to dodge the steroid creams. Even topically, less than a week, they can cause damage (bone loss) to the skeletal system.

The other issue is his diet. Whether he is eating well or not, it sounds like his body is not absorbing the nutrition properly. This is common these days. Lack of nutrition typically shows itself first in the skin. I can recommend an absorbable multivitamin that is chewable when he's able to chew....or you can crush it for him if you'd like to try it now. Avoid all processed foods. You'll see some improvement.

Hope I helped!


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answers from Rochester on

I'm not sure if it would help, but if you aren't already using dye and perfume free everything (baby wash, lotions, laundry soap, etc.) try that. I had to use dye/perfume free laundry soap for my oldest and now make my own since my 2 year old has eczema (and asthma), and I still have to wash him with Aveeno baby wash (the perfume free one). He can't even have bubble baths. If he wears clothes that someone else washes in "normal" detergent, he usually breaks out a bit. It can't hurt to try it. Otherwise, I mostly use Vaseline or A&D ointment for everything on my kids.



answers from Detroit on

Are you breastfeeding or is he on formula? Do you give him water? What detergent do you use to wash his clothes? What products do you use when bathing? What products do you use when cleaning your home? All of this has an impact on his system. Why?

The fastest way to get something into the body is through the skin. His lungs are much smaller (of course you know this) and so if you are using harsh products to clean your home, he is breathing in the fumes.

If it is excema, this originates in the immune system. So his immune system may be compromised (weak).

I'm not a doctor so I don't treat or diagnose.

I'm a Certified Wellness Educator. If you would like to talk further, email me when it is a good time to talk.

Many blessings.



answers from Lansing on


I want to second the other mom who mentioned removing dairy from your baby's diet. My son has food intolerances and when he was first diagnosed I would not have equated food to all of his "medical problems". He had constant ear infections, sensitive skin, dry patches in his elbows and knees, etc. By removing the "bad" foods from his diet these symptoms cleared up over a period of months. But, I saw an improvement within just a few days.

If you decide to remove dairy from your baby's diet, keep it out for at least 4 -5 days and see if there are any changes. If you are still breast feeding, then that means you will have to eliminate dairy from your diet too including yogurt, cottage cheese, and other foods that have dairy as an ingredient.

If removing dairy from his / your diet does not affect his skin condition, then you might want to consider other foods and remove them in the same way one at a time. Many pediatricians do not take classes in food allergies / sensitivities so when they see dry skin and red spots they immediately look to medical ways to fix the symptoms. They don't always look to the cause of the problem and many times don't think about chemicals in the baby's environment or foods that might be the cause of the symptoms.

If you have trouble determining the specific food or chemical your little guy may be reacting to, then I would suggest you visit a pediatric allergist to help you figure out what he may be sensitive to. At this age it can be a challenge, but the doctor and office staff can give you more specific instructions and ask questions to help you determine the culprit(s).

Good luck and I hope your little guy starts to feel better soon.

C. J.



answers from Dallas on

I use Aveeno bath soap and lotion and it seems to work well on my daughter. Make sure you are using a "Free" detergent. I use Tide Free and it works well. My father who developed a severe skin rash at 76 can only use Tide Free and his doctor told him to use Johnson's Baby Shampoo all over his body. He absolutely can not use dryer sheets, and my mom can't even use dryer sheets in the dryer at all as they leave a film in the dryer. He's 81 now and hasn't had a breakout since. Talk to your pediatrician and see if they can prescribe something stronger.



answers from Portland on

We used Cetaphil cream.



answers from Phoenix on

my son too has dry skin... doc said to lotion him up within 3 minutes of getting him out of the bath to lock in moisture and use cetaphil in the jar... not pump. the jar lotion is much thicker we lotion him up everyday but bathe him every other bc of his sensitive skin.



answers from Detroit on

If you want to try some Arbonne products, please let me know and I can put some samples in the mail to you. Arbonne is a Swiss company and a very clean product (a lot of products made in the US have a lot of junk in it and ingredients that will irritate sensitive skin-most have mineral oil etc.. ). My pediatrician even has an account with me to carry Arbonne in her office. Also, I am super sensitive, have to buy special toothpaste, laundry detergent etc. I break out in hives, rash in any products that aren't Arbonne. Of course, my kids only use Arbonne too. If you want to check out my website- www.claansoo.myarbonne.com for more information and if you would like to try samples, let me know. Have a great day! *C.



answers from Los Angeles on

The red cheeks are probably a combo of eczema and drool. My son used to have the same thing. His eczema was the result of an egg allergy, so you might want to see if that could be a possible cause.

We have a few different prescription steroids that we use when he is flared up really badly. Dermasmoothe is an oil that we use when we need to cover large areas of his body. Protopic is a cream that we use if we're just putting it on a few small spots.

For lotion, we have found Ceravae to work the best. We tried many others, including aquaphor, and this is more effective and much less goopy. The key is putting it on his skin immediately after his bath when he is still damp to lock in the moisture. Do not fully dry him off or it won't be as effective. Ceravae can be kind of hard to find, but Walgreen's always seems to have it (don't know if you have Walgreen's near you, but hopefully you can find it somewhere).

Things are also going to be worse in the winter when you're running the heater more often.

Good luck!
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answers from Allentown on

Hi- first, I love your post id! ;) Proud jeep owner/lover here!
Now, to your question: Lots of good momma help below! I haven't had this problem with my boys, but my nephew has it really bad- just as you described and I have been working with my sister to help him. It started on his chin and cheeks-and he wasn't a drooler, and his hands were painfully red and cracked- got worse after baths and she was using lotions with perfumes- which I'm sure didn't help. His dad is a nutritional dr, and still was unable to help!
The flaxseed oil on his food was a good suggestion- but at 11 months old, he should be able to take a flavored cod liver oil from a medicine dropper (I use one from a childrens tylonol) If he is still breastfeeding make sure you are taking a good multivitamin- just because it is on the label doesn't mean it is getting absorbed into your body! Goats milk soap for his bath, is very mild as well- see if you can find someone who makes it locally. My sister uses Renew hand wash for her son and the Renew lotion, and he now has only mild pink on his hands where they used to be raw and cracked. Hopefully with continued use....



answers from Detroit on

I would find a company like Bee All Natural for organic baby lotion bath and butt balm. Use organic more natural less harsh on the skin also try oatmeal bath from aveno works well too. Good luck!!!



answers from Detroit on

My 4-yo daughter has eczema. She has had it since she was a baby. It looks red, scaly, raised, bumpy. Our dr. prescribed a mild steroid to be used sparingly (10 days out of the month). I use fragrance-free lotion, without parabens and pthalates. It does help, but it is rarely ever "cured." One of the best things I have discovered it a bleach bath. I know, it sounds awful, but it's not anywhere near as strong as a swimming pool if you follow the directions. One-quarter cup bleach in the bathwater (if you are using a baby tub, use a couple of tablespoons instead) and gently wash all over. If you do this a couple times a week consistently, it seems to lessen the effects of the eczema tremendously. The American Academy of Pediatrics was doing a study on it and were so impressed they stopped the study to give all the kids on the study the benefits of the treatment. Parents mag did an article on it last year. Another benefit is it kills any staph infection that may enter any open areas on the eczema. Hopefully he outgrows the eczema (5 yo daughter did outgrow hers) if that is what it is (and it sounds as if it is). Be cautious using hydrocortizone on the face--it thins skin. Best of luck.



answers from Lubbock on

My son at about 4 months had horrible eczema and I was told by a family friend to use goat milk soap ... i thought eww gross but it did not stink and it worked great!!! His skin improved almost immediately after we started to use the goat milk soap. I also applied NIVEA lotion (in a little white container) instead of regular baby lotion, etc. We have not had a problem with his skin since then....



answers from Chicago on

Eucerin and CereVe. Both in tubs, not bottles. Super for healing!



answers from Detroit on

My third son, 15 months, has super sensitive/dry skin, and I don't usually use soap on him in the bath -- just plain water or a tiny bit of store brand Cetaphil soap in the diaper area, and on his hands and feet. Also, I bathe him 1-3 times a week, at most in the winter.

I love Aquaphor too, that has worked well. Just after baths & daily if there is no bath, I just started using Aveeno Baby Soothing moisture cream (I think that's what it's called? It's in the baby aisle, and it's in a cream tube with a dark blue cap) that has worked wonders. I found that all other lotions and creams and soaps (esp. with fragrance) made his blotchy red skin worse - he was so dry & itchy! Also - we were using hydrocortisone cream on him too, b/c he was so itchy, but I found that made his skin even more dry.....

Another possibility might be to run a humidifier in his room?

I hope you find something that works for you and your sweet baby!

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