The Largest and one of the most important organs in the body is the skin. A child’s skin, especially, provides a vast range of functions. First and foremost it provides a protective, waterproof layer for the bodies internal organs.
The skin also maintains the body’s temperature. When the skin gets too cold capillaries under the skin contract, preventing the flow of blood to the skin surface. On the flip side, if a child becomes too hot, the capillaries enlarge, allowing blood flow to the skin surface. This increases heat loss and turns the skin red.
Nerve endings in your child’s skin respond to senses like warmth, pain, cold and touch. The skin responds to these stimulations, and sends information to the brain about the external environment the child is occupying.
The skin is made up of 4 basic segments:
- Epidermis – The part of the skin we see. Basically made up of dead cells with a hard protein called keratin.
- The Dermis – The thick inner layer of skin is made up of basically collagen. The dermis also consists of capillaries, sweat glands, sebaceous glands, hair follicles and nerve endings.
- Hair – Hair begins its life as “vellus” (fine downy hair), covering most of the body of a baby at birth. Hair is usually not found on the palms of the hands or the soles of the feet. At puberty terminal hair develops around the genital area, arm pits which adds to already present terminal hair on the scalp, eye brows and eye lashes. Males will also develop more hair than women at puberty.
- Nails – Nails look nothing like hair, even though they begin life from the same epidermal cells and they only differ from skin by the thickness of the keratin..
A baby might be covered with vernix caseoasa which is a white, greasy coating that protects his or her skin in the uterus. This is washed off or can be left to disappear on its own. A young baby’s skin is about 5 – 6 times thinner than an adults.
Unless prescribed by a physician, it is not necessary to treat your child with expensive, chemical ladden, commercially formulated products. Organic Skin Care products are typically the best and have the lowest allergy risks.
You can also use several home remedies for treating your child’s skin:
Honey – Will help draw puss from an infected wound.
Eggs – Apply egg white to nappy rash. Apply in layers allowing each layer to dry prior to applying the next.
Cucumber – Great for cooling sunburn and minor insect stings.
Baking Soda – Can relieve itching from plant allergies and nettle rash. Make a past with a small amount of water. Apply to skin and leave for 20 – 30 minutes.
Onions – Have been known to relieve stings. Can also remove warts. Add onion juice to warts twice daily.
Epsom Salts – (Same as baking soda)
Cabbage Leaves – Use as a poultice to relieve boils, blisters and stings.
Lemon Juice – Known to be good for cold sores and wasp stings.
Tea – Good for cold sores. Using a T-Bag as a ready made compress.
Eric J. Smith is a qualified Horticulturalist and Permaculturalist. Eric writes about his interest in many areas of Environmental concern and brings into focus Changing Economic paradigms. Eric has a passion for Organic Gardening and Permaculture with an emphasis on the sustainable use of environmental systems.