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Heat rash, stay away!

By JESSICA PAG-IWAYAN

Thanks to Covid-19, most of us are confined in our homes. But as we are all trying our best to fight this invisible enemy, we are also fighting the effects of the scorching heat sun brought to us by this hot and dry summer season.

Over the past few days, we have been experiencing extreme heat. On May 6, at 43-degree Celsius, Metro Manila recorded the highest heat index for the year. Other parts of the country had it even hotter. The hottest in Sangley Point, Cavite was 51 degrees, as it was in Dagupan City, Pangasinan. Worse still, in Butuan City, Agusan Del Norte, it was 53.

Kid in the rain (jansen)

A child takes a splash in a fountain at Sta. Cruz, Manila (Jansen Romero / MANILA BULLETIN FILE PHOTO)

Heat and the babies’ skin

Studies have shown that with heat beyond normal room temperature, we are prone to skin problems such as heat rash, and dry, irritated skin. More susceptible are infants and kids, according to studies. At Cetaphil’s Mommy Dialogues, mom-of-two and dermatologist Dr. Gaile Robredo Vitas explains to Manila Bulletin Lifestyle why kids are more prone to these skin problems and shares how mommies can protect their little ones. 

According to Dr. Vitas, babies’ skin composition is not like that of adults. “It’s very important not to expose them to extremes of temperature, because the composition of their skin is different compared to adults,” she says. “It’s important to keep them cool if it’s really hot, and to keep them hydrated.”

Pro Tips 

She gives some tips for moms to protect their little ones’ sensitive skin on these hot days. 

Dr. Gaile Robredo-Vitas

Dr. Gaile Robredo-Vitas

 

  • Abrasive washcloth is a no-no.

 

“Baby’s skin (and body as a whole) is maturing and developing and parents and caregivers should be mindful of how they treat it,” she says. “The use of abrasive washcloth when bathing is a no-no. Their skin is also vulnerable to conditions of occlusion and friction.”

 

  • Don’t use sunscreen on infants. Avoid prolonged sun exposure.

 

While sunlight is good for everyone’s health, too much sun exposure is dangerous, especially for babies. “Babies have immature melanocytes and thin skin that puts them at risk for enhanced skin damage from UV exposure. Therefore, it is recommended that your babies avoid prolonged sun exposure from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and to use protective clothing instead of sunscreens,” Dr. Vitas explains. “Sunscreens are not recommended for babies under six months of age because there are no studies conducted for this age group. For babies six months or older, opt for physical sunscreens—zinc oxide and titanium dioxide because they are less irritating on babies’ skin.”

 

  • Pamper them with a massage.

 

“Apart from improving circulation, it is also a way of conveying love and affection,” says the dermatologist of loving massages. “Research shows that touch stimulates hormones, boosts immunity, and helps fight disease. Babies who are massaged often also tend to be calmer, more secure, so they sleep better and cry less.” 

Cetaphil Baby-PR Photos-B

 

  • Use mild cleansers.

 

“Preserve, protect, and enhance your baby’s skin barrier by providing it with the much-needed moisture and lipids. Babies have increased transepidermal water loss (TEWL), defined as the insensible loss of water from the skin due to evaporation, in the absence of sweat,” she says. “Their skin is prone to dryness and applying emollients significantly lowers TEWL and improves hydration without disrupting skin surface pH and sebum production. Regular application from birth can be considered an effective approach for atopic dermatitis prevention in neonates at high risk for developing it.”

Skin care and beauty expert Dr. Vitas encourages mommies to use dermatologist-recommended baby products such as Cetaphil Babies. “Babies get dehydrated so fast. You think by just looking at them that they have perfect skin. No, they really need more protection and are more vulnerable than adults,” she ends. 


Source: Manila Bulletin (https://lifestyle.mb.com.ph/2020/05/14/heat-rash-stay-away/)

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