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Newborn skin peeling – What we need to know about it!

Newborn skin peeling - What we need to know about it! / Image by Tawny van Breda from Pixabay
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Newborn skin peeling – The skin in the first days! The skin is the largest organ of the human body. It consists of highly specialized cells that form a thin but durable protective layer. Because these cells are smaller in babies than in adults and create fewer layers, the skin is initially even more delicate and more absorbent. 

Therefore, it must be cared for with special care. The skin renews itself throughout its life. This process begins even before birth. The typical baby skin is wonderfully soft and delicate; at the same time, it is resistant and elastic.

However, the skin of a newborn baby is not perfect from the beginning. For nine months, the baby’s skin was always getting surrounded by water. The sudden change to a dry environment is not without its traces. 

You don’t have to worry if your baby’s skin peels, redden, or flakes in the first few days after birth. It is especially true for his wrists, knees, and feet. It is all completely normal.

Your baby’s skin should return to normal within the first few weeks of his or her life.


A related video about “Bathing a Newborn Baby” here to watch.

Video Credit: SingHealth


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Newborn skin peeling – Baby’s skin peels

Baby's skin peels
Newborn skin peeling – Baby’s skin peels / Image by Tawny van Breda from Pixabay

The peeling skin is normal in newborns and not at all bad. The skin that appears underneath is healthy and velvety soft. Don’t have to do anything, and you shouldn’t help it peeling off, because then there will be tears and inflammation. 

The baby can be getting washed more or even bathed more. Do you not have a midwife at home? She could show you how to bathe, and besides, you can take a look at the shared video to see how to bath a baby the best way. 

All skin folds should be washed daily and looked at carefully to avoid sore spots. Always where skin lies on the skin. Especially during the heat, this is necessary. Instead of using water, you can also cleanse the wrinkles with oil. 

Give olive oil on a firm absorbent cotton ball and then take away the small fluff, dirt particles, etc. Clean the diaper area with water at least once a day. Wet wipes can be getting saved if you use water and washcloths instead.


The skin of the newborn instantly after birth.

Forty weeks of pregnancy in the amniotic fluid leave their marks on the skin of the newborn baby. Here I would like to describe typical skin symptoms that can occur on a baby immediately after birth.


Vernix (Vernix caseosa, also known as Vernix)

The so-called vernacular Vernix looks like a white, sticking cream on the newborn’s whole body. The Vernix consists, among other things, of sebaceous gland secretion and fats. Since the baby lies in the amniotic fluid for a long time, it is supposed to protect the susceptible baby skin from drying out. 

The closer the date of birth, the less Vernix is visible on the body of a newborn. Children above the expected delivery date usually have no Vernix but have many wrinkles and flaky skin.

Nowadays, you don’t usually bathe a baby after birth, but leave the Vernix on the skin, absorbed like cream into the skin in the first 24 hours. 

If there is a lot of Vernix in wrinkles, such as under the armpits or groin, we recommend removing it a little. So much Vernix is not absorbed and can start to smell unpleasant after a few days.


Skin flaking

With every newborn baby, the skin scales entirely once on the entire body. In transferred children, this can be getting seen immediately after birth. Often the skin appears very dry and scaly; bloody tears can be getting noticed on the joints. 

The skin can also loosen itself over a large area, just like snakes, and the children shed their skin. Within the first week of life, even with children on time, the skin begins to peel off. Often the peeling off then takes place in tiny scales, which are hardly getting noticed.

On dehydrated skin or cracks, you can apply some almond oil. However, it should be avoided to use a heavy cream to the skin several times a day. The skin must be completely flaky once. It is neither faster nor less fast with a cream.



Milia are 1-2 mm large, yellowish-white, slightly raised dots, which can cover the nose or rarely also the whole face or even the chest. They are cysts of the sebaceous or sweat glands filled with horn material, which disappear on their own after a few weeks. Please do not try to express the milia.



It is the name given to the smallest, dot-shaped skin or mucous membrane bleedings. Petechiae are usually the result of venous congestion during childbirth, e.g., during a speedy birth. They occur mainly on the face, but can also be getting seen on the head and neck. 

Petechiae spontaneously recede within the first days of life, but if new petechiae appear after the first week of life, this can indicate illness. The baby should be getting presented to the midwife or pediatrician.


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Dry skin in babies is completely normal.

Dry skin in babies is completely normal
Newborn skin peeling – Dry skin in babies is completely normal / Image by Iuliia Bondarenko from Pixabay.

The skin of babies is susceptible and needs to be cared for. Baby skin is anatomically no different from adult skin. However, the individual skin layers’ structure is not yet complete; the skin is tender, soft, and needs protection.

Nevertheless, the baby may get dry skin, incredibly shortly after birth. It is not unusual, considering that the babies have been lying in the mother’s amniotic fluid for nine months.


The development of the protective mechanisms of baby skin

The protective function of baby skin is still in the development phase:

  • The unstable acid mantle does not yet fully protect against the penetration of pathogens.
  • A patchy horny layer ensures increased moisture release and dries out the skin.
  • The skin surface is relatively large and loses much moisture.
  • The thin epidermis reacts more sensitively to irritation.
  • Insufficient formation of the sweat glands reduces the reaction to temperature changes, leading to overheating of the baby.
  • The sebaceous glands do not yet produce much fat and are sensitive to hormonal changes after birth.
  • The low melanin production does not, however, provide sufficient protection against UV radiation.


How can dry skin be recognized in newborns?

Shortly after birth, newborns can have dry skin on their face or abdomen, although dry skin can also appear all over the body. It sometimes looks cracked, and the skin hangs a little. On the stomach, this could be getting mistaken for sunburn.


Dry skin in babies: no need to worry

This dry skin is not bad at all. It is quite normal and natural. After all, the baby had been lying in the mother’s amniotic fluid for nine months. It causes this so-called peeling. 

The old water skin comes off, and the new skin forms underneath. Just because the baby gets dry skin after birth, there is no reason to fear a skin disease like neurodermatitis.

During the early weeks of life, the baby’s skin loses a lot of moisture, is low-fat, and appears extremely dry. The baby feels perfect in its skin, and special attention is now getting paid to its care. 

Help with skin irritations and soothe the skin with sensibly used care products on a biological basis.

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Dry baby skin: What helps?

Dry baby skin What helps
Newborn skin peeling – Dry baby skin: What helps? / Image by esudroff from Pixabay

Parents whose babies have dry skin have two options: Take additional care of the dry skin or simply wait until it has peeled off, and the new skin has formed. 

If you want to treat the dry skin areas, a simple household remedy is getting recommended: You can take a little olive oil and use it to cream or oil the body’s dry parts. But in the best case, one must make nothing at all.

For daily body care, a moistened gentle baby washcloth is sufficient. Two short, 35 °C to 37 °C warm full baths per week in clear water will not harm the baby’s skin. 

A bath additive is not necessary. Highly foaming products contain surfactants that additionally dry out baby’s skin and increase its susceptibility to skin diseases.

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Make sure that your baby gets enough liquid and apply the cream. Keep a close eye on skin folds and areas of the body where little air can reach. 

Yeast fungi can thrive, especially in the diaper area. If the baby has become skin irritations, please let a pediatrician or dermatologist examine it.



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