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Keywords:

  • bath;
  • hygiene;
  • detergents;
  • newborn;
  • infant

Abstract

The problems of skin cleansing in infants have been re-evaluated in recent years on the basis of current understanding of cosmetology and skin physiology. The anatomical and functional peculiarities of infant’s skin have been elucidated and, although it is known that the barrier function is established at birth in normal babies, it remains the case that children’s skin is more delicate and therefore more prone to irritant and allergic contact dermatitis. These factors determine the choice of cleansing agents during infancy. The products available on the market differ markedly. Indeed detergents, bath oils, bath powders, due to their distinctive properties, have different indications and different benefits. The method of cleansing the skin, i.e. bathing or showering, is also important. The frequency of cleansing should take into account the age and the degree of exposure to pollutants. For special purposes, e.g. impetiginized dermatoses, antiseptics such as potassium permanganate or chlorhexidine can be added to the water in appropriate concentrations. The ideal paediatric detergent should be very mild to avoid irritant dermatitis, and very simple to avoid allergic dermatitis.