I am myself an Ayurvedic Doctor but when it comes to my own child I too get scared seeing him in any kind of discomfort and try to find a cure as soon as possible. Babies are very delicate and should be taken care of. Amongst some of the most common problems one is skin problems in babies. Babies have very sensitive skin and they don’t have much developed defense mechanisms to fight against the various bacteria, viruses, fungi etc. present in our surroundings. All these can cause skin problems in babies and so it is very necessary that we have a small idea about what should be done to save our little ones from such problems.
As I am myself a mother I keep going through articles on how to maintain the health of babies and so here I am sharing my own experience and whatever I otherwise know. Hope it helps your babies too.
When it comes to skin problems in babies one of the most common problems that occurs is the baby rashes. Rashes can be of many kinds.
(i) Nappy/Diaper rash: It is caused due to the moisture in nappies. Reddish rashes around the genital area and sometimes even over the tummy region. In this case it should be taken care that the baby is not left in wet diapers for long and diapers should be changed on time to avoid it. If proper home remedies for diaper rash is taken, it can be tackled easily.
Cure: Gently apply coconut oil with a clean cotton swab over the affected area every time while you change the diapers/nappy.
(ii) Baby acne: Small pimples which arise on the cheeks, nose and forehead area.
Cure: In this case just wash the babies face with clean water. Rose water if a pure one is available is very soothing in such cases. But avoid using market products.
(iii) Urticaria (hives): Wheel like rashes on the skin resembling the bite of honey bees which may be associated with vomiting, fever, itching, burning sensation and pricking pain.
Cure: Mustard oil for external application followed by fomentation with moist heat. Turmeric in milk to be taken orally.
(iv) Scabies: Reddish rashes consisting of tiny bites, or bumps or pimple like bumps which are associated with intense itching which gets worse at night. In babies and toddlers scabies occur in head, face, neck, hands, and soles of the feet.
Cure: It is highly contagious and so the baby has to be kept isolated. Wash the clothes separately and dry them properly in sunshine. There are many ayurvedic medications available for scabies but in case of babies its best to contact a doctor and take suitable medications.
(v) Ringworm ( Dermatophytosis ): Circular lesions which are usually sharp margin-ed with raised edges. It is also a contagious disease.
Cure: Acc. To Ayurveda Tuvaraka oil, neem paste can be applied. Medicines like jatyadi oil, dhurdhurapatradi thailam, nalpamradi taila, gandhaka rasayana etc are available for this condition. The affected area should be washed with gandhaka water. If the condition is very severe then you can also go for easily available creams like ringuard, etc.These are safe to use but care should be taken that the baby doesn’t lick it and also it should not enter the eyes.
(vi) Prickly heat (miliaria): These rashes are seen in the areas which sweat the most. It is a sign that your baby’s sweat glands have become blocked. In babies it may be caused due to improper clothing i.e. covering baby with too many clothes.
Cure: Sandalwood paste can be applied in the affected area. Affected area should be cleaned with rosewater. Prickly heat powders can be applied.
(vii) Hand, foot and mouth disease: It is a common viral skin disease. Blistery rash appears on the palms of hands, soles of feet, as well ulcers in mouth. It may be associated with fever.
Cure: Treatment is usually not needed as the baby’s immune system clears the virus and it goes away in about 7 to 10 days.
It is cracking of skin forming skin lesions recurring very frequently. It is characterized by bursting eruptions with pain. It is also said to be associated with loose motions.
Affected regions: Face, neck, limbs, scrotum, waist and joint folds.
- Improper diet
- Improper clothing
- Excessive massage
- Over soft bed
- Familial tendencies
- Contamination from excreta
Cure: I would suggest in such cases the baby should be taken to a skin specialist.
Some things that can be done by you are in this kind of skin problems in Babies :
- Avoid giving dry fruits , peanuts to the child
- Baby should not be constipated
Some medications that can be given are as follows:
- Mahatikta Kashaya
- Patolakaturohinyadi Kashaya
- Mahamanjishtadi Kashaya
- Kaishore guggulu
And for external application:
- Gandhakadya malahara
- Karanja taila
- Marichadi taila
- Devdarvadi taila, etc.
In Ayurveda small pox, chicken pox, measles all these are considered to come under one heading – Masurika (eruptive fevers). Discoloration of skin, fever, and some disorder of eyes may start initially. Then the skin eruptions develop which maybe watery, or oozing blood or hard eruptions associated with itching may arise.
Measles is referred to be Romantika in Ayurveda. It is characterized by red macular eruptions in the hair follicles. It is associated with cough, fever, and tastelessness. It takes one week each for the eruptions to crop, mature and then dry to wither off. These are communicable diseases and so in such cases babies should be kept in isolation. And special care should be taken for their hygiene.No medication is required in such cases. These subside on their own.
Nowadays these skin problems in babies are becoming rare as there are vaccinations available for them. There are many other skin problems in babies but the above were few which are common and can infest easily in babies.
Precautions to take:
- Always wash the clothes of babies properly and dry them in sun.
- Keep the surroundings hygienic.
- Wash your hands before feeding the baby or even touching the baby.
We all know precaution is better than cure and Ayurveda explains many causes that can be the reason of skin problems in babies which can be prevented.
Following is the list of some causes:
In Ayurveda the concept of incompatible food items and incongruent exposures has been explained as virudh dravyas and Virudha ahara vihara.
- Avoid giving milk products with fish
- Milk intake followed by heat exhaustion
- Contact of rough garments in tender skin
- Consuming curd at night
- Giving cold water immediately after hot milk, or food
- Excessive massage
- Honey should never be cooked etc.
- Other than these care should also be taken about the child being allergic to certain items like egg, brinjal, fish, etc. as these may also cause skin problems in babies.
Hope my article proves to be of help to mothers.
Happy Parenting with Budding Star