When a baby is born prematurely, their skin is not fully developed. This can lead to a number of skin problems, some of which can be serious.
Here is a brief overview of premature birth skin and how to care for it:
What to expect:
The skin of a premature baby is often red, wrinkled, and thin. It may also be dry, scaly, or peeling. In some cases, the skin may be bruised or have small blood blisters.
Premature babies are also more likely to develop skin infections. This is because their skin is more easily damaged and their immune system is not fully developed.
How to care for it:
There are a number of things you can do to care for the skin of a premature baby:
- Keep your baby's skin clean using a mild soap and water, or water based wipes
- Avoid using harsh soaps or lotions
- Keep your baby's environment warm and humid to prevent the skin from drying out.
- Apply a protective cream to the skin to help prevent drying.
- Use natural, chemical free products and dress in loose breathable clothing, such as plant based nappies and breathable natural fibre babygros
- If your baby develops a skin infection, see your doctor immediately
Some of the most common skin problems that premature babies can develop include:
Abrasions: These are small scrapes or bruises that can occur during delivery or while the baby is in the hospital.
Erythema toxicum: This is a rash that is caused by a reaction to the baby's own skin bacteria. It is usually not serious and goes away on its own within a few days.
Jaundice: This is a yellowing of the skin and eyes that is caused by a buildup of bilirubin in the blood. Jaundice is common in premature babies and usually goes away on its own within a few weeks.
When to see a doctor:
If you notice any changes in your baby's skin, such as a rash, redness, or swelling, be sure to see your doctor right away. It is important to get early treatment for any skin problems that your baby may develop.
There are many resources available to help parents of premature babies with skin problems. Your doctor can provide you with information and support. There are also many online forums and support groups where you can connect with other parents who have been through similar experiences.
Having a premature baby can be a challenging experience, but with proper care, your baby's skin will heal and they will grow up to be healthy and happy.