Your baby’s skin

Many new babies will have dry peeling skin after they’ve been born. The top layer of skin will shed after the first few days of life and as their skin matures it will develop its own natural protective barrier.

Every baby’s skin is different and there’ll be some babies who only have small areas of dry skin whilst others may be red and inflamed. 

Some babies may go on to develop atopic eczema which can cause your baby’s skin to become red, dry and scaly and can cause discomfort due to it being itchy. It’s unclear what causes eczema, but it’s thought it may be caused by a number of different factors such as family history, irritants like soaps and wash detergents, heat and different allergens including food, grass and pollen.

There are many factors in everyday life that we recommend avoiding to try to prevent dry skin. 


  • Baby shampoos, bubble baths, lotions and perfumed soaps
  • Sensitive and perfumed wash detergents
  • Aqueous cream as this can cause stinging and irritation
  • Overheating your baby
  • Certain fabrics such as wool and nylon

If your baby gets dry skin it may be useful to keep a diary to see if you can identify any potential issues which may be causing the problems.

Dry skin and atopic eczema are usually easily treated with washing and moisturising creams known as emollients. Your health visitor will be able to advise what the best treatment will be for your baby. 

However, it’s important to seek medical help if your baby’s skin is broken, red, inflamed, blistered, crusty or weeping.