Written in partnership with Dr. Clarence De BELILOVSKY, dermatologist; member of the Mustela experts circle
• Does breastfeeding has a positive or a negative role on extremely dry skin? It’s a question that can divide opinions. Some people think that it helps to protect your baby from many infections and allergies. That is true. Other people will say that if the child is already allergic, the mother should exclude some foods from her diet so as not to transmit allergens to her child. But there is no formal proof of this precaution. The best approach is to talk about it with your physician. Extremely dry skin is rarely associated with a food allergy so there shouldn’t be any reason not to breastfeed your child if it is what you prefer. On the contrary!
• Which specific skincare products and treatments can I use on a day-to-day basis to cure my baby’s atopic-prone skin? Use emollients products on a daily basis. The formulas enriched with baby/child specific skincare products help rebuild the oily layer of your baby’s skin and repair and protect its skin barrier. What is also extraordinary is that they can reduce the itching immediately by up to 95%!
This is the case for Mustela products like the Emollient balm Stelatopia and the Emollient cream Stelatopia. You can apply them at least twice a day (see Application advice), after the shower for instance, and even during the bath.
To summarize, they are the essential care in case of extremely dry skin. There is just one precaution: in case of flare-ups, do not apply emollient products on oozing patches. In this case, your physician will prescribe a treatment more adapted to the patches
• Can I vaccinate my child in case of extremely dry skin? Absolutely. Not only do vaccines not aggravate but they protect your baby against many diseases such as diphtheria, tetanus or polio. Even if your child has little chance of having these infections, it is important to have a valid vaccination record. The only thing we can advise is to delay the vaccination date if a flare-up occurs and not upset your baby further.
• Does extremely dry skin leave marks on the baby’s skin? Not at all. Even if rashes are severe and develop into oozing patches and then into a crust . This is good news. Here are two more good pieces of news: this is not contagious and tends to abate with age.
• Do you have to exclude certain foods to avoid eczema flare-ups? Not necessarily. Extremely dry skin is rarely caused by a food allergy or intolerance. If you have any doubts, the best thing to do is to talk about it with your physician.
However, some foods can have an irritating contact with the skin. When swallowing it, the contact with the mouth and around the mouth could trigger the immune system and generate a flare-up. Again, don’t hesitate to consult a dermatologist or an allergist in case of doubt.
• My child has lymph nodes during flare-ups. Is this normal? Yes, it can happen. During a flare-up, there is a skin inflammation.
The body has to defend itself and this can be the simple reason for the appearance of lymph nodes. You think that the patches may be superinfected? Don’t worry, this is rare.
The best way to be sure is to consult your physician
• What can I do to prevent ? If we cannot entirely prevent, some precautions can help you avoid flare-ups.
First, you can rely on baby/child specific emollient skincare products which help rebuild the oily layer of your baby’s skin and repair and protect the skin barrier.
They also immediately allow a 95% reduction reduce itching. You can also adopt a few daily steps to provide a suitable environment for your child: ventilate your home, and don’t forget to put the teddy bears in the washing machine from time to time!