Hello Twins and Me Readers, I am very happy to commence this incredible journey about Infant and Child Skin Care with you all. To start with, we will see some medical facts about Human Skin, which you need to know so that it will be easy to follow certain terms I will be using in the articles, understand concepts and relate them to your kids in a better way.
I would always like to go in a Q&A pattern which I feel will be easy to interpret and understand.
What Skin is actually made of?
Skin comprises 16 to 20% of our body weight. It is made up of 3 major components
- Outermost Epidermal Layer – This is multilayered and performs a major protective role.
- The Dermis along with Blood vessels and Nerves – This is a supporting matrix, with collagen & ground substance responsible for skin’s suppleness.
- Underlying Adipose Tissue or Fat – This acts as an insulator.
Accessory structures like hair, nails are also part of the skin. But You know what? Huge business worth trillions of dollars is happening in the planet focussing only on these accessory structures.
What makes Skin so Important?
The prime role of the skin is its protective or barrier function.
- Permeability Barrier – The outermost dead cell layer of the epidermis is the stratum corneum which prevents water loss from our body. This is very important in newborns. The more their body loses water, the more they will become dehydrated. If this gets severe, it can lead to a shock and even death. This will happen more swiftly and severely in a preterm baby.
- Skin protects from the entry of infectious organisms and chemicals into our body.
- It protects us from harmful UV rays of the Sun.
Other important duties of the skin are,
- It keeps our body in right temperature by either conserving or losing heat according to our climate. This again is an important issue in a newborn.
- Skin plays a significant role in immunity of the humans.
- Vitamin D which is important for the bone growth is produced in the skin. And this will happen only if you let your kids play in the sun. Surprised?? We will see more about this later.
- Your child’s external wounds are repaired and healed by the skin.
Finally, for what the whole world is running after? It is the skin’s cosmetic appeal. As a pediatric dermatologist, I will consider this to be a least important issue.
We always want our kids to have a healthy skin which in turn is a beautiful skin! Isn’t it?
What is the Acid Mantle of our Skin?
Our skin is slightly acidic with pH level between 4.5 to 5.5. This acidic nature is important to fight against infectious bacterias, chemicals and mechanical pressure from outside.
But newborn skin is less acidic than the adults. Hence it is more vulnerable to infections and external hazards. The newborn baby’s skin gradually attains adult level by the time he/she turns one. Till then certain specific skin care is needed for the delicate skin and for few months after it.
And based on this fact billions of dollars are being invested in baby care products. But they never reveal the exact science behind it and continue to exaggerate things and make us use their products till our kids grow into adults. We keep on using those baby products for the kids until they themselves throw these baby soaps on one fine day. For we mommies, our children are always babies, right? LoL 😉
So that is all you need to know with regard to human skin. In the coming weeks, we will discuss some common issues related to pediatric skin and their management.
Also feel free to mention those topics which you want me to deal in detail in the comments section.
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