Common baby skin allergies
An itching, crying baby would break any mother's heart. Here are the most common skin problems and how to treat them.
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Eczema: This allergic condition sometimes appears when a baby changes from breast milk to formula, or starts eating solids. It's a scaly, itchy red rash that often starts on the cheeks and spreads behind the ears, neck, arms and legs. See your GP, who can prescribe treatment. Note what your baby eat sand possibly cut out a food if you realise one of them is triggering a rash.Keep his fingernails short and put mittens or socks on his hands to prevent him scratching. Keep baths down to three times a week, as water can aggravate dry skin. Use soft cotton clothing and bed linen (avoid synthetic, scratchy material) and keep his clothing loose. Wash your baby's clothes with non-biological washing powder.

Scrapes and cuts: If the wound doesn't appear to need stitches and isn't bleeding heavily, wash it gently with sterilised water, then pat dry. Apply an over-the- counter antibiotic and cover with a Band-Aid. If you notice any signs of infection (such as redness, swelling or a pus discharge), see your GP.

Minor burns: Run cool water over the affected area to soothe pain (don't apply ice – it damages skin tissue, causing more discomfort). If blisters appear, don't drain them – open ones are easily infected.

Sunburn: When outdoors, infants and toddlers should always be protected from the sun with a hat and a minimum of 30SPF sunscreen (Sunscreen isn't recommended for infants under six months of age;instead, keep your baby out of direct sunlight and dress him in protective clothing.) If your baby gets sunburn, soothe it with an aloe vera-based cream.You can also administer over-the-counter pain relievers. If vomiting or fever occurs,it means the burn is severe and you should see your GP.

Bug bites
Most insect bites and stings resemble firm, raised bumps. Treat a bee sting by gently scraping out the sting with a sterile pin or tweezers. Put a cold compress on the area to relieve pain. (Note that many children are allergic to bee stings: if rapid swelling or wheezing occurs, get medical help immediately.) Mosquito bites are especially common in babies – the bugs are actually attracted to the haemoglobin in infant blood. Clean and dry the bite,then apply an itch-relieving ointment, such as calamine lotion. To prevent your child from scratching, cut his fingernails and keep them clean.

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