source url Some people call it pigment. Because people with darker skin have more melanin, they usually don't get as wrinkly when they get older. They're also less likely to get skin cancer. But even dark-skinned people can get wrinkles and skin cancer, so everyone needs to protect their skin when they go outside. Want to know more about protecting yourself from the sun? Livingood Award and Lectureship Marion B.
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Here are some facts about melanin: Some people make more melanin than others. Everyone has about the same number of cells that make melanin, but not everybody makes the same amount of melanin. If you have not spent much time around newborn babies up until this point, you may be downright surprised at their appearance. However, after a few days your baby will begin to look more like what you expected a baby to look like.
If your newborn baby was born vaginally, the shape of their head may be elongated. This is referred to as a "conehead. You may be able to see, or feel, the two "soft spots" called fontanelles, which are diamond shaped and normally located in the midline on the top of a baby's head. You may be able to see or feel your baby's pulse through the fontanelles. Soon everything will spring into its normal position and your baby will look just fine.
If your baby was delivered with forceps, you may see marks or scrapes from the forceps on her face and head.
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Forceps marks usually disappear within a day or two, but sometimes they can last as long as a couple of months. This is because the bright lights of the birthing room are hard on their sensitive eyes. In a few minutes, they will open their eyes.
You may notice sticky secretions coming from their eyes, and one of their eyes may appear to wander. This is normal. Their eyes should gradually stop wandering over the next few months. The colour may change over the first few months, and their true eye colour will not be established until they are about three to six months of age.
Your baby may also have some fine, downy hair called lanugo all over their body, especially if they were born prematurely. The lanugo will rub off and disappear after a week or two if they were full-term; if your baby was premature, the lanugo will take longer to completely disappear. If your baby has a bowel movement before they are born, they may be covered in meconium, a greenish-black tarry substance.
You may be able to see blood vessels in certain areas such as over their nose, eyelids, or neck. Their hands and feet may be bluish rather than pink, and they may be cool to touch. These are signs of an immature circulatory system, and they are all quite normal. Over time, these problems will fix themselves. If your baby was born full-term, they may have smooth, wrinkle-free skin.
However, if they were premature, their skin may be somewhat wrinkly, or conversely very glossy and swollen. Babies born post-term will have more dry skin that peels. Time will help to restore normal skin, as your baby grows and gains weight. Between the third and fifth days of life, about two-thirds of babies develop a condition called jaundice, which causes their skin and eyes to take on a yellowish hue. This is because of a build-up of a chemical called bilirubin in the body.
Although the liver and bowel are usually responsible for getting rid of the unwanted bilirubin, many babies have an immature liver that cannot do this effectively.
Jaundice normally resolves during the first few days of life. Severe jaundice is treated using phototherapy to modify the yellow pigment in the skin, and therefore, allow better removal of the bilirubin by the baby.
Your newborn baby may have birthmarks or other skin conditions that you may be concerned about. Usually these should not be a cause for worry. Ask your primary care physician about these markings for further information. Their hands may be bluish and wrinkled, and pulled up to their face in a tight fist. Their feet may be a bit turned in, and their toes may overlap each other. Keep their fingernails trimmed in order to avoid scratching.
This is due to the rush of hormones that occurs before birth. If you have a baby girl with an enlarged vulva, the swelling should go down within a couple of weeks. For baby boys, the swelling in the scrotal sac may take weeks or months to return to normal. Newborn girls may have whitish secretions or slight menstrual bleeding up to about a week after birth.