18 May 2022 | 4 min Read
Author | 607 Articles
A baby’s skin is delicate and ultra-sensitive. Research suggests that a baby’s skin is 20-30% thinner than an adult’s skin. The hydrolipidic film mainly consists of sweat, sebum, and water and is thinner in babies than in adults. This film protects the skin against bacteria and acts as a barrier.
The thinner hydrolipidic film makes the little one’s skin more sensitive. That is why it absorbs water quickly and is prone to dryness, eczema, and irritation.
The pH begins to develop after a baby is born and goes down as the baby grows, making the skin more acidic. Therefore, it is important to ensure the pH balance of the infant when giving them a bath.
The full form of pH is potential hydrogen and its value indicates how acidic or alkaline a substance is.
The pH scale ranges from 0-14; a low pH is acidic in nature whereas a high pH level is more alkaline in nature.
The pH level of a baby’s skin is 5.5. As it is a lower value than the pH of water (7), their skin is acidic in nature. Plus, acidic skin is more equipped to fight the spread of bacteria or fungi. Hence, it is important to maintain the 5.5 pH level.
Even a small variation from the pH level of 5.5 might lead to a lot of skin problems, especially in babies who have more sensitive skin.
Maintaining the pH balance of 5.5 supports your baby’s skin’s natural acid mantle against the environmental stress. If this barrier is disrupted, it can become dry and sensitive.
The skin then becomes susceptible to environmental factors such as weather, allergens, irritants, infection or physiological factors like stress, hormones and diseases that can cause various skin conditions.
There is a pH sensitive enzyme that lives on a baby’s skin that is responsible for thinning out the old skin so that the new skin can grow. This means that if the pH is higher than 5.5, it will thin the newborn’s skin much more than required.
A thinner skin loses moisture through the unprotected cracks in its outermost layer and becomes prone to irritation, rashes, and eczema.
Make sure that you do not “over-bath” the baby to cleanse them thoroughly. You might end up drying out the skin which can lead to skin problems. A baby’s skin is highly sensitive.
Maintaining a proper pH balance will help in treating and preventing major skin problems. Choosing a soap or a body wash that’s specially formulated for your baby with the right pH balance will ensure that the little one’s skin gets the perfect nourishment. It will also prevent harm to the delicate and developing sensitive skin.
Suggestions offered by doctors on BabyChakra are of advisory nature i.e., for educational and informational purposes only. Content posted on, created for, or compiled by BabyChakra is not intended or designed to replace your doctor's independent judgment about any symptom, condition, or the appropriateness or risks of a procedure or treatment for a given person.