Though your child’s skin will eventually perform all of the functions of your skin, her skin is quite different from yours in ways that are not immediately evident. The most important difference is that the functional development of baby skin is delayed. It is most vulnerable during the first year, and remains extremely delicate during the early years of life. Your skin can perform more effectively and easily. Your skin is also stronger and more resistant to environmental irritants and contaminants.
Your baby’s skin:
- is five times thinner than yours,
- doesn’t produce as much oil,
- is very reactive to environmental irritants,
- has more surface area per pound of bodyweight,
- is more sensitive to the sun,
- and its immune boosting capacity is still developing.
Though the skin is your body’s largest organ, it is not always obvious just how many jobs and responsibilities the skin has. Here are the broad strokes about how your skin (and your child’s) keeps you healthy.
- Skin creates a barrier between the internal body and the eternal environment, protecting the internal organs from bacteria, virus, fungi and a multitude of additional contaminants.
- It maintains a healthy balance of surface microorganisms that both help and hinder in the skin’s functions.
- Skin helps regulate the body’s temperature.
- It identifies intruders and relays information about their biological composure to other immune system components, like T-Cells, for the body to mount an attack.
- It produces oil to keep the skin from cracking due to environmental exposure.
- It replaces itself with new, healthy cells quite frequently.
- It produces melanin, a natural sunscreen, to protect the body’s DNA from destruction by ultra violet rays.
- It produces vitamins.
- The skin actively absorbs nutrients (and contaminants) from the outside and expels poisons and cellular byproducts from the inside.
- It even influences emotions by accepting and transmitting sensations to the brain – from the sting of pain to the sweet touch of love.
Though your baby’s skin is not fully functional at birth, amazingly, it can still heal faster than yours because its cells can regenerate more quickly. Regardless of age and level of sensitivity, healthy skin is smooth, soft, moist, elastic, and it recovers quickly from bumps and scrapes. The color of healthy skin is even and it actively produces antibodies, melanin, collagen and elastin. The body’s immune system, basic protective mechanisms, and even emotional development are dependent upon healthy skin. As a parent, your selection of pure, natural and organic baby skincare products, as well as adherence to healthy skincare rituals, is critically important to your child’s future because radiant skin fully participates in keeping your baby’s body strong. With proper natural skincare, respect for the body can be instilled from birth and result in lasting health, grace, and confidence.
Get Dr. Greene's Wellness Recommendations
Sign up now for a delightful weekly email with insights for the whole family. Plus Dr. Greene's FREE Top 5 Wellness Tips For 2017.