Having your child can be a very exciting time in your life. And obviously, your primary focus is keeping your newborn  baby safe and healthy. It is understandable that to worry about your baby’s well-being.

If your newborn child's skin or  skin condition appears dry or starts peeling in the weeks following birth, let's know what causes peeling might ease your worries.

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Why does newborn skin peeling, dry skin occur?

A newborn baby's appearance and their skin condition, both can change a lot within the first few weeks of their life. baby’s hair can change colors, and their complexion may become lighter or darker too.

After delivery, before leaving the hospital or within a days of coming home, your baby’s skin may also begin flaking or peeling. This is completely normal for your newborn child. The Peeling can occur on any part of the body, such as the hands, soles of the feet, and ankles, or head.

Newborn baby's are born covered in various fluids. This fluids includes amniotic fluid, blood, and vernix. Vernix is a thick coating that protects a baby’s skin from amniotic fluid.

A care giver will wipe off the fluids  from a newborn shortly after birth. Once the vernix is gone, your child will begin to shed the outer layer of their skin within one to three weeks. Amount of peeling varies from child to child, and depends on whether your newborn was premature, delivered on time, or overdue.

The more amount of vernix a baby has on its skin at birth, the less they may peel. Most of all babies who premature, have more vernix, so these newborns often peel less than a baby born at or after 40 weeks. However some dryness and peeling after birth is normal. Newborn Skin flaking will go away on its own and doesn’t usually require special care.

Other causes of newborn skin peeling and newborn dry skin


In some of the cases, peeling and dry skin are caused by a skin condition, its called eczema, or atopic dermatitis. Atopic dermatitis or Eczema can cause dry, red, itchy patches on your baby’s skin. This skin condition is rare in the period of immediately after child birth,It may develop later in infancy. The exact cause of Atopic dermatitis or Eczema  is unknown. Various factors can effects, including exposure to irritants such as shampoos and detergents.

Dairy products, soy products, and wheat may also cause or worsen Atopic dermatitis or Eczema  in some baby's. If your baby is feeding a soy-based formula milk, doctor may recommend switching to a non-soy formula milk. Doctor may recommend special moisturizing creams for eczema also such as Aveeno baby care products. or Cetaphil baby care products.


Peeling and dryness may also be caused by a genetic condition called ichthyosis. This skin condition causes scaly, itchy skin, and baby skin shedding also. Doctor may diagnose your baby with ichthyosis based on your family’s medical history and a physical examination. Doctor may also take a blood or skin sample too.

There is no cure for ichthyosis, but you can apply creams regularly, it can relieve dryness and improve the condition of your baby’s skin.

Treatments for newborn skin peeling, dry skin

 Skin peeling is normal in newborn baby, but you may worry about your infant’s skin cracking and becoming overly dry in certain areas. 

Here are the simple tips to protect your newborn’s dry skin and reduce dryness.

Reduce bath time

Long time baths can remove natural oils from your newborn baby's skin. If you’ve been giving your baby 

25 minute or 30 minute baths, cut those bath time down to 5 or 10 minutes.

Using lukewarm water to clean the baby

You must use lukewarm water instead of hot water, and you must use fragrance-free, soap-free cleansers for your baby. Because regular soap and bubble baths are too harsh for a newborn’s skin.

Apply a moisturizer

If your child’s skin seems dry, you must apply a hypoallergenic moisturizer to your baby’s skin twice a day daily, it's include after bath time. Applying cream to skin immediately after your baby's bath helps seal moisture in to there skin. This can keep your baby’s skin soft. Soften massaging your newborn’s skin with a moisturizer or lotion can loosen flaky skin and facilitate peeling.

Keep your newborn hydrated

Please do Keep your baby as hydrated as possible, because it also reduces dry skin.  All the newborn babies shouldn’t drink water until they’re about 6 months old, unless your doctor says otherwise.

Use a humidifier

If it is possible,use a cool mist humidifier to raise the moisture level in your home. If the air in your house is too dry, A mist humidifier helps relieve eczema and dry skin.

Protect your newborn from cold air

Do sure your newborn’s skin isn’t too much exposed to the cold or wind when outdoors. Put socks and mittens over your baby’s hands and feet. You must also place a blanket over your newborn’s car seat or carrier to protect their face from the wind and cold air.

Avoid harsh chemicals

Newborn’s skin is soo sensitive, so it’s also important to avoid harsh chemicals that can irritate your baby’s skin. You must avoid to use perfumes or scented products to your newborn baby's skin.

If you washing your newborn’s clothes with regular laundry detergent, you must choose a detergent designed specifically for a baby’s sensitive skin.

Trying an oatmeal bath

All the research shows that colloidal oatmeal reduces  the inflammation and itching, which prevent the baby from scratching any damaged, peeling skin and making it worse.

 The Oatmeal bath treatments are now available in many drug stores, natural food stores, and online also

 Choosing appropriate clothing

All the parents must choose soft, and loose-fitting clothes. And the clothes made of natural materials for babies as these are less likely to irritate or put pressure on the skin.

Keeping the baby comfortable

It is a part of the treatment. You must keeping the baby as comfortable as possible. This process soothing them and helping them to find positions that avoid putting pressure on the peeling skin.

Does breastmilk help newborn dry skin ?

In the year of 2015, A study published in  International Journal of Dermatology. Where it said that,

Breastmilk was found to be an equally effective treatment for   newborn dry skin, and also mild to moderate eczema. All  The researchers says that half of all infants are affected by atopic eczema, which causes itchy, red, swollen and cracked skin.

There are so many mixed reviews about applying breastmilk directly on the face. Some of the new parents find this clogs pores in babies with acne, on the other hand  others have had positive experiences with breastmilk. 

For your baby's cradle cap, if you’ve already tried the olive oil and coconut oil on your baby’s scalp, you might want to give a try breastmilk as well.

The takeaway

The outer layer of your newborn baby's skin varies from baby to baby

There is no other way to prevent your newborn baby’s skin from peeling (newborn dry skin)after their birth. The amount of time it takes to shed is varies . 

If your baby's dry skin and flaking doesn’t improve within a few weeks or worsens, speak with your child specialists.

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