Influence of Bathing or Washing on Skin Barrier Function in Newborns during the First Four Weeks of Life

ArticleinSkin pharmacology and physiology 22(5):248-57 · August 2009with69 Reads
Impact Factor: 2.37 · 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.