Babies are delicate little creatures, which is why they need their own special kind of sun protection when they are outside. On top of that, babies with eczema are more vulnerable to the sun’s damaging rays and have more challenges finding sunscreens that work for their skin.
Most dermatologists, don’t recommend using sunscreen on newborn babies. Newborn babies should be protected from the sun with umbrellas, blankets and canopies. Only once a baby is 6 months old should you start applying the sunscreen—sunscreen specially formulated for babies.
That said, not all sunscreen for babies is made equally! As a parent to a child that has this condition, you have to be very careful in selecting the right products that won’t cause the eczema to flare up. Although most skin care products formulated for babies are mild, one particular product is especially notorious to cause flare ups – and they are sunscreens!
Most sunscreens have artificial chemicals and colors that can easily flare up eczema and can spell trouble for both the baby and you. What you need is a specially formulated sunscreen that is mild enough to not irritate the delicate skin of your child and yet protect the skin from UV rays.
These are the sunscreens that work the best for babies with eczema because they are formulated with natural ingredients. Staying away from artificial ingredients and preservatives goes a long way in avoiding flare ups.
The rules for sunscreen application are more or less the same for babies, kids and adults. But of course, as babies are smaller, they don’t need quite so much sunscreen. Here are a few more tips and tricks to keep in mind when considering how to put sunscreen on a baby:
- Apply a nickel-sized amount of sunscreen evenly to all uncovered skin, especially the lips, nose, ears, neck, hands, and feet.
- Apply 15 minutes before going out in the sun.
- If baby doesn’t don’t have much hair, apply sunscreen to the top of your head, or wear a hat.
- Reapply at least every two hours or immediately after swimming.
- Give babies and children extra care in the sun. Ask your health care professional before applying sunscreen to children under 6 months old.
- Never apply sunscreen to damaged or broken skin.
Lastly, if you are using a product for the first time, test the product first. Apply a small amount, about the size of a pea, to the pulse of your baby’s wrist or the crook of their elbow. Don’t wash that area for 24–48 hours and watch for any allergic reaction such as redness, a rash, any form of breakout on the skin, itchiness, pain, flaking, etc.