Dr. Huang has cared for thousands of babies over the last 10 years with eczema, diaper rash, cradle cap, and more, including her own kids who both had skin issues as infants. As an award-winning teacher and mentor at Harvard Medical School and the Harvard Dermatology Residency Program, Dr. Huang has a reputation for sharing what she knows, making her a great fit for EllaOla's Scientific Advisory Board and its commitment to education and transparency.
How did your passion for pediatric dermatology come about?
I have always tried to understand and make a difference in the lives of others. I considered a career in social work, majored in anthropology, and decided to apply to medical school due to a mesmerizing class in college in “abnormal psychology.” During my pediatrics residency, I cared for a newborn with a rare life-threatening skin condition called harlequin ichthyosis. I learned that there were only 200 pediatric dermatologists across the US, and their job was to diagnose and treat common and rare skin diseases in the 70 million children who live in our country. I found that the two pediatric dermatologists I shadowed accomplished their work by providing direct care for patients, teaching primary care physicians, and mentoring others (like me) to follow in their footsteps. From that point on, I was totally hooked. This was how I was going to make a difference!
Tell us about your motherhood and family.
My husband and I live in the Boston area and have two daughters. We both work full time and juggle the responsibilities of parenting and home care together; our daughters also help! I’m grateful to have a partner who understands and respects my career. The early years of motherhood were hard, not only because of the stress of our busy days but also because of the guilt of never doing enough at work or at home. I am committed to making lives easier for moms–we have enough to worry about. I am proud that I can do this by sharing what I know with my patients and their families, and ensuring that I am part of the effort to create trustworthy, high-quality products for their children.
What is the #1 piece of expert advice you would love to share with new parents?
“I wish that parents understood that babies don’t need to smell nice to have clean and healthy skin and hair. Just like all of the other organs in their bodies, baby skin is still growing and maturing after they are born. Their skin is thin and sensitive and can react to ingredients that adult skin does not react to. Fragrances can be irritating and result in future allergic reactions. When it comes to baby skincare products, the simpler the better!”
What are key features that you want in skin care products?
1. Soothing Baby Face Cream
“A good moisturizer is made of a few high-quality ingredients without fragrance or known irritants/allergens. The thicker the moisturizer, the better! In hot summer months, however, a lighter moisturizer may be better tolerated. No matter how thick or good your moisturizer is, frequent application is necessary especially when a baby is prone to dry skin. Also, it is very important to apply a moisturizer immediately after bathing.”
2. 100% Organic Baby Massage Oil
“Baby massage can be soothing both for baby and parent. Massage can decrease stress and promote bonding, and healthy oils can help to break up flaking or scaling of the scalp in babies with cradle cap. While soothing, oils should not replace moisturizing creams or ointments, but can be applied before or after moisturizing baby skin.”
3. Organic Diaper Rash Cream
“My favorite active ingredient in diaper cream is zinc oxide, which acts as a strong barrier and also has anti-inflammatory properties. It is hard to wipe off zinc oxide base diaper creams and that is a good thing! The diaper area is subject to lots of irritation from urine, stool, and wiping, therefore, there should always be a protective cream in the diaper area to prevent irritation and inflammation. It is much easier to prevent diaper rash than to treat it. I recommend parents to use Organic Diaper Rash Cream on a regular basis (with every diaper change) right after their baby is born.”