Can oil massage make my baby's skin look fairer?

If you think that oil massaging can make your baby fair, read the article to get your facts right.

Many Indian mothers believe that massaging oil can make their babies look fairer and lighten the complexion, if done regularly. However, a straightforward answer to this question is no. Your baby s complexion cannot be altered or improved by any external application. Complexion, whether fair or dark is genetic and is decided at the time of conception. Massaging oils or creams will not make your baby s skin fairer by any means, explains Dr Bhavi Mody, Vrudhi Homeopathy and Wellness Centre, Mumbai. Here are 19 baby care tips for every new mother.

Newborn s skin varies in colour and texture after birth and takes some time to settle into one s natural skin tone. For instance, premature babies have transparent looking skin covered with lanugo, a thin film of hair or vernix, a white substance that protects skin from the amniotic fluid. On the other hand, full-term babies might have little trace of vernix on them and appear wrinkly.

Apart from that, newborns might also have a light pinkish tone on their skin after birth, which isn't their real complexion. This tone is due to red blood vessels that show through baby s thin skin, which lacks natural pigmentation. It is only after a month that your baby settles to its own skin tone and the process continues till the first year of life. Other things that can affect your baby s skin colour are unexpected weight loss or fever. A good feeding routine that will help your baby regain health will also restore the skin tone, not necessarily making one fair. Here is a step-by-step guide on breastfeeding for new mothers.

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However, with your newborn you should worry if your baby appears to be red or blue in colour, which could indicate a skin infection or breathing problem, respectively. Other than that, there is no way you can triumph over nature and make your baby become fairer by any means. That doesn't mean you should refrain from oil massages completely. Many experts believe that oil massage doesn t hold any importance in the early years of infancy while others believe it has its own set of benefits. Oil massage can help boost blood circulation, muscle and bone health, keep baby warm and help sleep better. However, it should not be done with the sole purpose to lighten the baby s complexion, it won't help, says Dr Mody. For the same reason, refrain from using any ubtan, talcum powder or fairness creams on your infant as it could lead to skin allergies.

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