Scalds in babies are very common and affect the delicate skin of our babies. These skin irritations can be mild or cause concern in parents when the inflammation is greater. Dr. Patricia Giglio, dermatologist of our clinic, will explain what to do in case of scalds, to provide relief and effective care for the welfare of our babies.
What is scald?
- It is an inflammation of the skin, which occurs due to maceration in the area of folds, especially in the groin area, that is, the diaper area because this area accumulates more moisture, the main factor in triggering a scald.
- Babies who wear diapers are the most prone to scalds, as they tend to be plumper and have more skin folds. In addition, the diaper material is synthetic and provides more warmth, especially in times of high temperatures.
What can happen if scalds are left untreated?
If not treated correctly and promptly, scalds can generate a series of lesions and complications in the baby’s skin, for example:
- Overproduction of other organisms, such as candida yeast, mostly known as candida intertrigo (yeast infection).
- The affected skin may become more sensitive and prone to develop ulcers or even open sores, especially in areas where there is constant friction, such as skin folds.
- They can cause pain, itching, and discomfort in the baby, making them uncomfortable, irritable, and even affecting their quality of sleep.
- If the scalds persist, they can trigger contact dermatitis, which is a chronic inflammatory reaction of the skin in response to irritants, among other complications.
Treatment and preventive measures for scalds in our babies:
- Scalds can be fought at home, taking the necessary care. It is important to change the diaper frequently, use anti-scald ointments for babies based on zinc oxide, and other natural anti-inflammatory components based on calendula, chamomile, etc., which are very effective. Washing with chamomile water can be performed to reduce the inflammation of the skin.
- After bathing, the fold area should be properly dried.
- If with these basic measures, the child’s skin does not improve, the dermatologist should be consulted for the possibility of requiring anti-inflammatory creams such as topical corticosteroids, or the use of antifungal creams, if an over-aggregated infection is confirmed.
Some signs that parents should take their baby to a dermatologist for proper and effective treatment are increased areas of redness and irritability of the child, small pimples with yellow or white matter near the scalds, or ulcerations on the skin.
Dr. Patricia Giglio
Dermatologist at Clínica Ricardo Palma