This happens because the blood vessels in the baby’s feet are smaller than those in other parts of the body.
Babies’ feet often turn a dark shade of purplish pink when born. It is well-known that this colour change happens because the lack of oxygen in the baby's blood causes haemoglobin to release iron from the red blood cells.
This article is for you if you are a new parent concerned about this phenomenon. Continue reading to learn all about colour changes in babies’ feet.
Why Do Baby's Hands And Feet Turn Purple?
Babies' feet and hands turn purple because of the development of their blood vessels. The pigment called procyanidin accumulates in these areas to create the purple hue.
Babies' feet and hands can also turn purple because of an allergic reaction to food or other substance. This allergic reaction causes the skin to become inflamed and swollen. The colour change is usually temporary but may sometimes last for several weeks or even months.
It can also happen because of a hormone called betamethasone. The baby's liver makes Betamethasone, and it gets into the bloodstream. It helps to reduce inflammation in the baby's body. When the baby's immune system is active, it makes more betamethasone. This happens during a cold or allergy attack.
Some babies will have a condition called transient neonatal jaundice, which is when the baby’s liver starts to work extra hard to break down bilirubin and the bile pigment. This can cause the skin on the baby’s feet and hands to turn purple or yellow.
The cause of this condition is not always known, but it usually goes away after the baby's first feeding. Other causes of purple feet include blood in the stool (poop), fungal overgrowth, lead poisoning, and sickle cell anaemia. If you think your baby has a condition causing their feet to turn purple, be sure to talk to your doctor.
How to Treat Baby Feet That Turn Purplish-Blue?
If your baby's feet turn a deep purple colour, don't panic! This is perfectly normal and not something to be concerned about. This colour change is simply a sign that your little one's circulation is improving. Here are some tips on how to treat baby feet that turn purple:
Keep Them Warm!
Babies' feet tend to get colder than the rest of their body, so keeping them WARM is key to keeping the colour light and healthy. Place them on your lap or in a warm container of water.
Soothe With Gentle Sponge Baths
If crying too much from the bath, try soaking them for just a few minutes instead of 30 minutes. Gently sud up a soft sponge and pour cool or room-temperature water over it, working it into the skin until it returns to normal colour. Don't use hot water – this will only make things worse!
Massage With Lukewarm Cream Or Butter
Apply cream (or melted butter) gently to the soles of baby's feet every two hours – this will help keep their skin moisturized and protect it from becoming dry and cracked. Avoid using anything harsh – you don't want to irritate their delicate skin further!
Apply A Protective Layer Of Vaseline Or Petroleum Jelly
After each bath, gently dry the baby's feet with a soft cloth and apply a thick layer of petroleum jelly or Vaseline to their soles. This will help keep their skin moisturized and protect it from further drying.
Give The Baby Plenty Of Fluids
Ensure the baby drinks plenty of fluids to stay hydrated and avoid becoming dehydrated.
Apply Warm Compresses
A warm compress can help ease swelling and pain while also help in relieving fever.
Avoid Rubbing The Feet
Do not rub the feet excessively, as this can cause more pain and inflammation.
Take Over-the-counter Medications If Required
Try giving over-the-counter medicines. If over-the-counter medications do not relieve symptoms, consult with a doctor about other treatments, such as antibiotics or prescription painkillers.
If your baby's feet turn a purplish-blue colour and seem swollen, it is important to seek medical attention. This could mean the baby has a serious problem, such as meningitis or sepsis. If the baby's feet are cold and clammy, there is also a good chance that he or she has contracted pneumonia.
Prevention Tips for Baby Feet That Turn Purplish-Blue
If you notice that your baby's feet are turning purple, you can take some simple steps to prevent the condition from worsening. Here are four tips to help keep your baby's feet healthy:
Avoid Exposure To Hot Tubs, Saunas And Other Sources Of Excessive Heat.
Excessive exposure to heat can cause skin irritation and even blanching, which can lead to the blue coloration of the feet.
Wash Your Baby's Feet Regularly With Warm Water And Soap.
Make sure to get inside their toes and under their nails. A mild soap is also a good cleanser for a baby’s delicate body.
Moisturize The Feet
Apply a moisturizer or soak your baby's feet in a bathtub filled with warm water and Epsom salt before bedtime. Epsom salt is a natural mineral that helps soften skin and soothe inflammation. Bathtime is also a great time for bonding with your baby!
Try Home Remedies
A few home remedies may help relieve the symptoms of a baby’s feet turning purple. One remedy is to soak the feet in warm water and Epsom salts, which will help soften and cleanse the skin.
Another remedy is mixing equal parts of distilled white vinegar and hydrogen peroxide, then pouring this mixture over the baby’s feet. Finally, you can also give your baby a foot bath with warm water, soap, and a bouillon cube.
Babies' feet turn purple during the first few months of life as they transition from a colorless state to one with more pigment. This happens due to increased melanin production, which is responsible for coloring skin and hair. While it may be startling for some parents initially, this change is normal and should not cause major concerns.