Skin peeling in newborns is natural

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Kenyan parents need not to worry when they notice that their newborns’ skin is peeling off during the first three weeks.

“It is a natural thing which happens to all babies,” said Betty Mutio, a pediatrician at a local hospital. “It does so mostly due to the change in climate. In the womb, they are protected from the sun, humidity and even rain but after they are born, their bodies have to adjust to their new environment and thus the peeling off of the skin.”

When a baby is born, they are covered in fluids such as blood, amniotic fluid and vernix. Vernix is a thick coating that protects the baby’s skin, after birth. Because of cleaning, the fluid is wiped off no longer protecting the baby’s skin and peeling starts to take occur.

“My baby started shedding when she was two weeks old,” said Janet Muema, a mother of a three month baby. “I was already prepared for that because I had been told by other mothers what to expect my husband did not know. One time, while she was still peeling off skin, I found him vigorously bathing the baby with a sponge because he thought the skin peeling was an indication that she was not clean.”

The amount of peeling depends with the birth.” If the baby is born premature or overdue, they tend to peel off more skin than those delivered on time,” said Mutio. “Usually the mother is advised not to oil the baby in the first weeks after birth so that the peeling occurs naturally and it is not as visible.”

Skin peeling does not happen to babies only, adults also peel off skin especially when there is an unexpected change in weather. “ If it there is warm weather for six months, for example, without a hint of rain, then it starts raining and it is cold, one’s skin is likely to peel off so as to cope with the change.”

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