Influence of bathing or washing on skin barrier function in newborns during the first four weeks of life.

Department of Dermatology and Allergy, Clinical Research Center for Hair and Skin Science, Charité-Universitatsmedizin Berlin, DE-10117 Berlin, Germany.
Skin pharmacology and physiology (Impact Factor: 1.96). 08/2009; 22(5):248-57. DOI: 10.1159/000235552
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT After birth, skin barrier function is in state of flux and at risk of dysfunction. In a prospective clinical study, we compared the effects of 2 standard cleansing procedures on skin barrier function in newborns.
Fifty-seven healthy full-term neonates aged < or = 48 h were randomly assigned to either a bathing group (group B; n = 29), who were bathed with clear water twice weekly, or to a washing group (group W; n = 28), who were washed with a washcloth moistened with clear water twice weekly. Transepidermal water loss (TEWL), skin pH, stratum corneum hydration (SCH) and sebum production were measured at days 2, 7 and 28 of life on the forehead, abdomen, upper leg and buttock.
Group B showed significantly lower TEWL on the buttock and higher SCH on the abdomen and forehead compared to group W at day 28.
Both skin care regimens do not harm the adaptation of the skin barrier in healthy neonates within the first 4 weeks of life. Skin barrier function differentiates after birth in a regionally specific fashion.

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