Is it normal if my baby has fine hair all over his body?

Is it normal if my baby has fine hair all over his body?

Every parent gets overwhelmed with emotions when they see their bundle of joy in their hands. Giving the first bath fills the parents with beautiful emotions. And that is the time when you notice fine hair on your baby’s body. This soft, downy thin hair is called Lanugo (“la-NOO-go”). These hairs disappear on their own within a few days after baby’s birth. To know more, read on.

What is Lanugo?

The word “lanugo”, soft, thin, downy hair is derived from the Latin word wool, “Lana”. This thin first hair is produced during the second trimester by the fetal hair follicles, which helps to keep the baby warm in the womb and also protects the baby’s tender skin from the amniotic fluid in mom’s womb. Usually, this soft hair covers certain parts of the baby’s body including forehead, ears, shoulders, and back.

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This Lanugo plays an important role in the development of the fetus. Normally, this hair sheds before the birth of the baby during the third trimester. But the babies born preterm are expected to have the Lanugo hair, which falls out within a month. Even if the hair is present after the baby’s birth, it disappears on its own and is replaced by the Vellus hair. This vellus hair is much thinner, fine, transparent and hard to see hair, which is typically found over the body.

Is it normal if my baby has fine hair all over his body?

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Causes of hair on baby’s body

Naturally, hair grows on baby’s body when the baby is in the mother’s womb. Lanugo hair is the first hair that every baby’s body makes and it covers the child similar to the fuzz on the peach. Experts state that the hair on baby’s body helps to regulate the temperature of the baby in the womb.

Also Read: Breastfeeding Guide for the first month of baby

Is Lanugo hair normal in babies?

The answer is YES! You can see the Lanugo hair on the body of newborn babies except on palms, sole of the feet, sides of fingers, lips and nails.

    • It is absolutely normal and you don’t need to worry about this hair. It sheds by itself after few weeks of delivery for full-term babies.
    • If the baby is premature it takes few more days to shed the hairs. As mentioned before, all babies have Lanugo hair as padding in the womb. Lanugo hair is grown and shed in the womb. But when the baby is born with Lanugo, there is nothing to worry about.
    • Every baby is not born with the lanugo hair, as few full-term babies shed the hair in the uterus and are born lanugo-free. This hair disappears by 36 to 40 weeks of gestation, that is the reason why preterm babies have the hair on their body. The babies born early needs some more time to shed their hair.
    • When the lanugo hair sheds, either inside or outside the womb, the hair never reappears.

Should I Remove Lanugo Hair from Newborn?

  • Do not attempt to remove hair from your newborn.
  • Wait for few weeks to observe as the hair eventually disappears.
  • If the hair is tuft on the baby, consult a physician immediately.
  • Gently massage your baby with mild baby oil. Doing it on a regular basis will help in reducing baby’s hair and you can see visible results.

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Science has advanced so much that we do have medical treatments for lanugo hair. There may be a question, “what to do if the hairs on my baby’s body does not shed on its own?” or “When to approach the doctor?”

The usual time frame for shedding baby’s hair is the first month after birth. But if the hair has not shed on its own even after six months or the hair starts to get darker than before, then it is time to meet your doctor. When the baby’s lanugo hair exists for more than a certain period, then that condition is an indicator of Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia (CAH).

  • CAH specifies that there is a lack of a certain enzyme in baby’s body. This causes lack of production of a hormone known as aldosterone or cortisol.
  • Treating CAH in newborn babies is tricky, the goal is to balance the child’s hormone levels.
  • To do so, synthetic hormones and steroid medications are provided on a daily basis.
  • And when the secretion of hormone is appropriate based on the age and gender of the baby, the growth of hair returns back to normal.
  • So, assure that the baby’s hair is not present after a month of baby’s birth. Else, fix an appointment with your doctor to seek the advice.

The Bottom Line

As discussed above, the key point in all the conditions like while monitoring the baby’s hair shedding or to opt for a medical treatment is patience. Don’t try to remove the baby’s hair by using home remedies as baby is too young and has sensitive skin. Never make a hasty decision and stick to doctor’s advice.

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