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.
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.
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.
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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.
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.
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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).
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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