Research by the American Academy of Dermatology shows that 10-20% of babies eventually develop eczema. A better understanding of the science of your baby’s skin will give you more confidence in caring for them.
The skin-microbiome is made up of the diverse microorganisms that live on the surface of the skin. An imbalance in the skin-microbiome leads to everyday issues (like oily and dry skin) and chronic ailments (like eczema).
By age 3-4, a child's skin-microbiome and skin-immunity response are established. We need to protect and cultivate a rich microbiome early to help children develop healthy, resilient skin.
The acid mantle refers to the acidity of the skin. The ideal pH of the skin is low, slightly acidic, and disrupting that can affect its ability to function optimally.
Studies show that children with eczema have higher skin pH than children without eczema. It is important for the skin to be at its ideal pH to ensure the microbiome and skin barrier function optimally to keep the skin healthy.
The skin barrier contains, natural moisturizing agents (like hyaluronic acid) and skin cells surrounded by lipids (ceramide, cholesterol and fatty acids). Think of the lipids as the glue that keeps the skin cells together.
A healthy skin barrier keeps contaminants out and prevents the skin from becoming dry and dehydrated. Dry and dehydrated skin is easily broken, which allows harmful bacteria to invade the skin and can lead to skin ailments and infection.