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Skin care for the newborn

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Skin of the newborn differs from that of an adult in several ways. It is more susceptible to trauma and infection and requires special care. Certain principles of skin care have to be emphasized to the mother or caregiver such as gentle cleansing, adequate hydration and moisturization of the skin, preventing friction and maceration in body folds, and protection from irritants and bright sunlight. The initial bath in full term infants can be given once the baby’s temperature has stabilized and the infant is hemodynamically stable. All soaps, cleansers, and syndets should be used infrequently during the newborn period and it is better if their use is limited to groins, axillae and napkin areas. The use of emollients on newborns should be limited in warm weather.

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Correspondence to Rashmi Sarkar.

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RK Hospital, Udaipur, Rajasthan

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Sarkar, R., Basu, S., Agrawal, R.K. et al. Skin care for the newborn. Indian Pediatr 47, 593–598 (2010).

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