There are many home remedies for babies that have been around in Indian families for years. Our medical heritage is rich and powerful - and you can safely use some of these traditional remedies to fix any problem your little darling may be suffering from. The important thing is to understand which remedy is safe and suited for the problem at hand.
Let's look at the best home remedies for common skin problems Indian babies face. These remedies are easily available and au naturale, meaning that there are no side-effects or risks associated with them.
1. For Prickly Heat:
Come summer and those tiny bumps on your baby's skin make their appearance. Prickly heat is one of the most common skin problems babies face in India, coming second only to diaper rashes. An easy solution to this condition is a popular plant with healing properties - Aloe! What to do:
Simply pluck out the leaf of an Aloe Vera plant. Slice off the soft thorns and slit the leaf through the centre. The sticky gel on the leaf can be directly applied to your baby's affected skin. Re-apply the gel after your baby's bath-time too.
2. For Diaper Rashes:
You are probably already keeping in mind essential precautions such as changing diapers often and keeping the area moisturised. Aside from this, if you are using cloth diapers, there is one handy remedy you can use. Urine gets alkaline when stale. Using vinegar to wash cloth diapers can help keep diaper rash at bay. What to do:
Simply mix half a cup of white vinegar with water and soak cloth diaper in it.
3. For Eczema:
Rough, dry and scaly skin can mean that your baby is developing eczema, more so if you also have a family history of this problem. When you notice these dry patches on his skin, begin to increase his intake of omega-3 fatty acids and use an effective home remedy: a paste of nutmeg, honey and water. What to do:
Mix these ingredients together to make a paste and apply on the affected area to get rid of the problem. You can do this a few times daily.
4. For Baby Acne:
Baby acne starts from the face and tends to spread to the rest of your baby's body. While this is usually not serious and goes away in time, you can try the best home remedy to stop the problem from spreading: a lukewarm bath! The temperature of the water helps to soothe the itchy skin.
5. For Ringworm:
When you notice a red circle shaped form on your baby's skin, you might be dealing with ringworm. Don't panic; this is also a fairly common problem and happens due a fungal infection. There are some effective remedies for this that will ensure that you don't reach out for over-the-counter ointments again. What to do:
Raw apple cider vinegar mixed with half a glass of water can be applied with a cotton ball on the affected area. This helps to dry out the fungus and stop it from spreading. Tea tree oil also has the same effect of drying out the fungus.
6. For Dry Skin:
Baby skin tends to dry out faster than adult skin as the epidermis (outer absorbent layer of skin) is still forming. The best way to tackle dry skin in babies is to massage gently with olive oil twice a day. Read this quick guide for more information on how to massage your baby
. You can also use different oils that have different benefits on your little one's skin, including coconut oil and mustard oil. Just be careful that the oil is not too heavy and discuss with the doctor at once if you see any side effects/reaction to the oil.
7. For Cradle Cap:
Crusty, yellow, scaly skin or deep red bumps on your baby's head can indicate a common issue in newborns known as cradle cap. These bumps can also be flaky like dandruff. While this is not harmful for your baby, there are remedies to get rid of it faster. What to do:
Massaging your baby's head with petroleum jelly or a natural mineral oil helps to loosen the dead skin and get rid of the scales and flakes. Read this for more information on why cradle cap is formed
and help lessen your anxieties a little.
8. For Intertrigo:
This scary-sounding rash is usually caused by moisture collected in baby's skin folds. Moisture that comes in the form of drool after your baby feeds collects in the many soft creases of skin and dries up, causing a raw rash. The only remedy for this is to periodically wash and cleanse your baby's skin folds (like the ones in the neck area or under his arms) and dry the area properly.
9. For Milia:
Lastly, another common problem you may encounter in your baby's skin is milia. They look like little cysts and are filled when keratin gets trapped below the skin surface. The best way to treat milia is to apply tea tree oil on to it. This release the trapped keratin and dries up the cyst till it naturally goes away.
The Indian weather and pollution can wreak havoc to your little one's delicate skin and body, which is why we need to take extra care of them. It is always best to trust in natural ingredients or products specially designed for your baby's gentle skin. However, if the symptoms persist, you should not delay in consulting the paediatrician.