Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Outsmarting Dry Skin

Reposted from 2/10/10 

Itchy, dry skin on our kiddos is hard to watch for parents
Any item entering my house, no matter how small, requires the most careful consideration regarding design, tactility, and function. Seems anal, but this is how I've always operated. When I was 8 years old and had to pick a dress to perform piano in with the Honolulu Symphony, nothing off-the rack would do so I picked a pattern and worked with a seamstress. No kidding -- my poor Mother. Before I had a kid though, no one ever fought me on my choices. I was head of Chez Nuy. That said, for my daughter's first pair of mittens, I searched high and low for the best pair to combat the cold air, and the dry skin it was inflaming on her hands. When they arrived at our door, I put the selection on her and to my dismay, she freaked out. She hated the mittens -- everything about them. Our, my mitten meet-and-greet had gone awfully awry: my fashion remedy for her chapped hands was a no-go.

My daughter, A-chan, facing the winter :-).
When we're out and about, I try to keep my daughter, A-chan's hands tucked into her oversized, Polo jacket. But when she's snacking, playing Ring Around the Rosy, or negotiating the jungle gym, her little mitts are inevitably exposed to the chilly NYC air, and the area below her knuckles suffers. Like her hair, A-chan's skin is dry, and the winters are typically challenging -- what with the overheated, moisture-less apartments and the icy, outside air. And maybe it's sympathy-symptoms, but my own hands, on and around the knuckles have also been raw and chapped, similar to hers. There are days when the pinkness of my knuckles are akin to the prettiest spring blush, but blush doesn't, and shouldn't burn! 

My daughter's intense dry skin can act out, particularly in arid conditions, expressing itself as mild atopic dermatitis, per her pediatrician. Her case is far from severe, but when it's intense it has caused tiny bumps to rise on her body (concentrated on her stomach, her bum -- areas where clothing is most often rubbing against her skin), and caused discomfort to the point where she'll itch the problem areas until chafing occurs. 

It's important to remember a few basics when dealing with mild baby eczema / atopic dermatitis: Use a humidifier (here's Hello Kitty one, $39), apply moisturizer daily and liberally, don't wash the skin too often with drying soaps (use pH balanced soaps like Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser ($6), which is safe for babies), and alternate washes with soap by just cleansing your child with water.  

I was feeling victorious because I had recently gotten both pairs of hands at Chez Nuy in tip top shape -- mostly due to the religious application of lotion (here's a luxurious one I love for Mom by Rescue Beauty, $42) and lots of Vaseline before bedtime. Then today, while we were out in the tundra of the city's early February blizzard making snowmen, a friend of mine offered A-chan a pair of white toddler gloves akin to Minnie Mouse's or an old-fashioned waiter's. Gasp! Something I never would've picked.

But my daughter kept them on, flashing me a satisfied smile as she gathered some snow, fully-gloved: Yes, mama, I like these!

Dry Skin 1-2-3:

1) Vaseline ($5): This inexpensive classic that I use daily for A-chan, is a fantastic heal-all and works well for both baby and mom. Put it on the raw areas (works great for diaper rashes and chapped lips too) when you and/or your kid goes to bed. You'll see a difference overnight.

2) Mustela Dermo-Pediatrics Stelatopia Moisturizing Cream ($19): After trying many, this was the only lotion that made A-chan's tiny, dry skin bumps go away. 

3) Aveeno Baby Soothing Bath Treatment ($5): You can use this a few times a week to soothe dry, itchy skin (and it also works for diaper rash). Just make sure to have your child soak for at least ten to fifteen minutes in the treatment.

UPDATE (March 21, 2010):
Try Vanicream. A-chan and I have been having fantastic results with it in the last few weeks. It is possibly the most irritant-free moisturizer I have found so far, and highly absorbent.

-- N.C.

Disclaimer: Nuy Cho has no affiliation to any of the beauty companies mentioned on

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