Skin irritations in babies

There’s nothing quite like the softness of a baby’s skin, and we know that you’ll want to protect that softness for as long as possible. But babies’ skin is naturally more sensitive than that of adults, and can easily become dry, sore, flaky and everything in between. That’s why Bepanthen is here to give you a helping hand in caring for your precious little one.

Causes of skin irritation in babies

From nappy rash to scaling, blemishes to rashes, all babies’ skin irritations stem from the same common problem: the skin barrier becoming damaged.


There are many reasons why the skin barrier is so sensitive in babies, including:

  • Babies’ skin is thinner than adults’ skin, meaning irritants can permeate more easily.
  • The surface of your baby’s skin is very large relative to his or her weight, so there’s more scope for irritations.
  • Until three months old, your baby’s skin has a higher pH than adults’ skin which contributes to a weakening of the skin barrier.
  • Babies’ skin is still adjusting to life outside of the womb, so it’s more vulnerable in a dry terrestrial environment.

Preventing skin irritations in babies 

Here are some quick tips for you:

Parent applying barrier cream to baby's arms and hands.

1. Choose your baby products carefully

  • Ask your midwife, GP or health visitor to recommend baby products.
  • Try to look for products that are free from alcohol, soaps or fragrances.
  • Only use products that have been specially formulated for babies, such as Bepanthen Nappy Care Ointment, which meet the nine standards for barrier protection * (as judged by an expert international panel of pediatric dermatologists).
  • For general skincare where baby skin is dry try emollients as they generally contain less sensitisers, e.g. fragrances, and they also provide deep moisturisation.
  • Any products that you use should be mild and pH neutral.

2. Maintain a good bathing routine

  • It is essential that your baby's skin is always clean, but many experts do not recommend a daily bath, which can dry out the skin. Instead, clean the face, hands and buttocks with cotton wool and clean, lukewarm water every day.
  • After bathing, always use an emollient or moisturiser specially formulated for baby which should be applied gently.

3. Maintain good nappy practice

  • Change your baby’s nappy frequently, and immediately when soiled.
  • Use a nappy care product like Bepanthen Nappy Care Ointment after every nappy change, especially at night time . Applying a thin layer to the bottom and genitals can protect the baby's sensitive skin from the causes of nappy rash. It contains Provitamin B5, which forms a protective transparent layer on the skin to protect from further irritation. Bepanthen Nappy Care Ointment is also free from colourants, fragrances and preservatives.
Baby bottom cream is a good way to avoid skin irritation.

Your newborn baby

Your newborn baby’s skin is especially sensitive at this time and will need specialised protection. Bepanthen Nappy Care Ointment is so gentle that it can be used from birth to help the most delicate skin, even of premature babies, as it’s free from fragrance, preservatives, colourants or antiseptics. Bepanthen Nappy Care Ointment is an easy to apply and breathable barrier cream that helps protect your baby’s bottom from the causes of nappy rash and to keep little bottoms happy and protected.