Just like adults, children experience dryness, itchiness and other skin irritations. However, their skin can be considerably more sensitive than an adult’s, so parents need to take care when using certain skin care products. The following are some of the best options for your child’s skin and many of them may already be in your medicine cabinet.


This is an over-the-counter cream that works extremely well for inflammation caused by bug bites and itchy patches. Before applying to a red, raised or flaky patch, make sure to check with your pediatrician. Using hydrocortisone on some conditions, such as viral, fungal, or bacterial infections, may make them worse.


Fragrance-free bath oils can make a major difference for children who usually have dry, itchy skin after a bath. While can be applied while in the tub after bathing, it is important to remember that it can make the tub surface very slick. The best way to avoid accidents is to lightly pat dry your child’s skin, then gently rub in the oil. Use only enough so that it can be absorbed quickly to minimize oiliness.


If your child has eczema, poison ivy, or a sun or wind burn, dissolving the fine, powdered oatmeal in a warm bath will be soothing and provide much needed itch relief. Have your child soak for 10 to 15 minutes, then gently pat dry.


Kids with sensitive skin need soaps that are designed especially for them. Look for products that are fragrance free and don’t have ingredients such as parabens, sulfates and methylisothiazolinone, which are all known to irritate sensitive skin.


During the winter months, the cold air outside and the warm air inside can leave kids with excessively dry skin. Adding a cool mist humidifier will replenish the moisture inside the home, which is one of the best ways to combat the dryness that causes itching.


Laundry detergents are known to cause numerous skin irritations in children due to harsh ingredients, strong chemicals and heavy fragrances. Switching to a hypoallergenic option that is also fragrance free will minimize skin irritations and rashes.


Petroleum jelly is an emollient, meaning that it is designed to trap moisture in the skin wherever it is applied. When children get chapped, dry skin, petroleum will seal in moisture to promote healing. It is also a great option for treating diaper rash, because it creates a barrier between the baby’s skin and the diaper.


As strange as it may seem, a bag of ice can help relieve the symptoms of bug bites and rashes quite quickly. Just be sure to place a towel between the bag and the skin to make sure the skin doesn’t get too cold.

These are some of the best options for skin care for kids. They are all relatively inexpensive and will do a world of good in helping your child deal with dry, itchy or irritated skin.

By Dr. Robert Clum