5 Ways to Winter-Proof Your Baby’s Skin

12/09/2011 at 02:00 PM ET
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Winter is upon us! Snowflakes, sleigh bells, good tidings and cheer.

But the busy schedule and cold weather that come with December’s festivities can be a set-up for some minor baby skin woes.

Lucky for us (and you!), we tapped dermatologist and mom of two Dr. Mona Gohara (who also created a sun protective clothing line for kids)  for some helpful tips on how to winter-proof your tot.

Check them out below:

Choose the Right Outfit. Bundling baby up before outings is essential during these bone-chilling winter months. Beware though, because over swaddling can result in over sweating and an itchy, bumpy, pink, heat rash called miliaria.

Winter-proof Solution: Keep fashion and function in mind when dressing your little one. Make sure you use breathable, layered clothes. Also, regardless of how long you are going to be there, consider removing their coat, hat, mittens and sweater when you reach an indoor destination. Luckily, the best cure for miliaria is a tincture of time, or if it really itches, over the counter 1 percent hydrocortisone cream for one-week max.

Get Cheeky. That rosy face that gives Santa his signature, gleeful appearance may mean trouble for a toddler. Braving the winter elements with your tot in tow can result in rough, pink/red cheeks, lips or chin. Wind, drool and runny noses are the most common causes of this condition known as irritant contact dermatitis.

Winter-proof Solution: Apply a dab of Aquaphor, containing soothing lanolin, to the chapped, scaly areas for relief, and watch your little one regain her natural glow.

Don’t Skimp on Sunscreen. Protection from cancer causing sun rays should begin at birth, and occur everyday, year round regardless of weather conditions. Ninety percent of skin cancers come from daily sun exposure beginning in infancy. Remember that harmful ultraviolet light can reflect off of the snow, and can come through the windows of your car or home. So protect your baby’s largest organ and apply sunscreen.

Winter-proof Solution: Apply a chemical free, sunscreen containing naturally occurring minerals such as zinc oxide or titanium dioxide to the face and hands each day. Make sure to choose a broad-spectrum product with an SPF of 30 or higher. Baby Blue Lizard or La Roche Posay Ultra Light Suncreen Fluid are perfect for sensitive baby skin.

Be Diligent with Diaper Duty. Lets face it, fun but hectic holiday traditions like decking the halls and scouring the malls can mean a little bit more time in between diaper changes. Over-wet bottoms are a prime breeding ground for painful diaper rashes and yeast infections. Urine and stool raise the pH of the skin making it more susceptible to breakdown, rawness and infection.

Winter-proof Solution: Do not delay diaper changes during errands. If your child develops a rash, avoid irritants such as talc/corn starch based powders, fragranced lotions/soaps and long baths. Use mild non-soap cleansers such as Cetaphil antibacterial cleansing bar, and apply calming lubricants like Aveeno Soothing Relief Diaper Rash Cream, which contains zinc oxide and colloidal oatmeal. If you’re not having luck and the rash remains, apply liberal amounts of Vaseline with changes, and go see a health care provider to make sure that no bacteria or yeast have settled in with the intention of wreaking baby bum havoc!

Make Moisturization a Priority. Cold air can rob infant skin of much needed moisture, making it dry, flaky and itchy. And kids with eczema can see their symptoms worsen as temperatures drop. Avoid Brillo-ville by lubing up your baby each day at bath time.

Winter-proof Solution: Avoid irritants such as soaps and cleansers with fragrances. After bathing your child, pat them dry with a towel and apply cream to the skin within 2-3 minutes to lock in moisture before it evaporates. Cerave cream works great for even the most sensitive skin.

Courtesy Dr. Mona Gohara

Lastly, moms, do not forget about you. Without spending tons of money, you can dump the frump with these quick DIY skin fixes.

1. Keep your spirits — and eyes — bright this holiday season with cold cucumbers. Applying two thin slices can reduce puffiness and take off 10 years!

2. Set aside some ingredients from your snowman cookies for your face. That’s right, good ‘ol sugar acts as a great exfoliator! Add a pinch to your favorite facial/body cleanser and voilà — vibrant, buttery soft skin.

3. Caulk the cracks in your heels with, you guessed it, super glue! Apply a little bit to the open areas on your worn down heels and get rid of the most common winter foot foe.

4. Zap headaches and zits at the same time. Apply one crushed aspirin mixed in a teaspoon of water to your third eye and watch it fade before that weekend holiday party.

5. Find your inner zen zone. Stress can lead to more acne, hair loss, hives and overall aging/fatigue. Rest, relaxation and mediation are essential for beautiful, healthy skin.

Happy Hoildays!

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