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Vernix, baby acne and baby’s first bath – the right care for newborns’ skin! With Kerstin Lüking and Dr. med. Snjezana-Maria Schütt

The right care for newborns – these are my midwife tips when it comes to spots, pustules and redness

Skin changes on newborn babies are frequently the reason why I’m contacted as a midwife. Sudden spots, pustules, redness or scaling skin cause parents to be concerned – and they need quick tips for the right care. I frequently ask for a photo in such cases to be able to better and faster determine which problems are being described.  

Generally speaking, I recommend that parents inspect their baby’s skin at least once a day. To look under all the folds and to perhaps determine if the armpits are red or the bottom is enflamed. Because one thing is clear: your baby will need the right care right away with a protective and anti-inflammatory cream. Open and enflamed skin is always a gateway for bacteria, which leads to symptoms worsening and causes your child pain. Which is why skin problems should always be taken seriously and treated quickly.

“Applying breast milk can also do wonders.”

Changes to your baby’s skin take place relatively fast. Small spots and redness can be caused by too much warmth. For example in the nappy areas. First, the affected areas should be thoroughly cleansed. The use of warm water will often do. Then use a soft towel to dry off the areas gently by dabbing, not rubbing. An air bath is always good in such a case. Applying breast milk can also do wonders. On red and sore areas, I always use our Nappy Barrier Cream, which has a positive influence on the epidermal barrier function and an anti-inflammatory effect thanks to the use of black current. My motto goes: the faster I can act, the faster the skin will regain its health.

For the interview in my midwife lab, I invited paediatrician Dr Snježana-Maria Schütt, who is known across Germany as @die_kinderherztin. On Instagram, she has more than 50,000 followers today.

I not only talk with Snjezi about sore skin, but also about nailbed inflammations, cradle cap, stork marks, vernix, belly button care and much more. Snjezi’s medical expertise is complemented every now and again by my tips from my midwife bag of tricks. Often, lots of nature-based and simple means are all that is needed to provide relief fast.  

Please talk with your midwife about redness on the toes or nails!

Characteristic of an inflammation of the nailbed is redness at first and then swelling around the nail. Frequently, it is a bacterial infection which enters the tissue through small cracks in the skin. Should you notice redness on the toes or fingernails, please always talk to your midwife about this. Take care of this timely, as your baby’s entire organism can be affected, which, in turn, could make treatment with the use of antibiotics necessary.

I swear by curd soap baths for enflamed nailbeds.

Did you know that curd soap baths help to relieve enflamed nailbeds? Using a slicer, slice bits off of the curd soap and dissolve them in lukewarm water. The affected hand or foot of your baby is then bathed in this soapy water for about five minutes, then dried off thoroughly and, afterwards, if the inflammation is intense, dabbed with an abscess balm. The enflamed area is then covered with a plaster – this process is repeated two to three times a day. Your baby should have a soap bath one to two times a day. Often, you’ll notice a quick decrease in redness and the enflamed, frequently brown-like chapped area peels off the skin.

This helps against smelly belly buttons:

“Can we already bathe our baby?” We midwives are also asked this question often. And our standard answer is: “As soon as the umbilical cord has fallen off.” But I know of many cultures in which this is dealt with differently and think that everyone should follow their preference. Usually, when the umbilical cord is ready to fall off, you’ll notice a grimy consistency and a fetid smell. In other words: the belly button stinks! Using a cotton tip soaked in breast milk or skin disinfectant, you can cleanse the belly button daily. Air baths are also helpful and, naturally, a bit of patience, as it takes up to two weeks of time or longer before the umbilical cord falls off.

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My personal tip

For all redness and enflamed skin areas, our Nappy Barrier Cream helps.

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