Healthy newborn babies may be harmed by olive or sunflower oil when applied to their skin, new research suggests”.
- “Healthy newborn babies may be harmed by olive or sunflower oil when applied to their skin, new research suggests”.
- “Changes to baby skin care have been linked to a dramatic rise in eczema in recent decades”.
- “Applying oil to a newborn baby’s skin prevents the “mortar” from developing as quickly as normal, and this could be a reason for the development of conditions like eczema”. According to Dr Alison Cooke, lecturer in midwifery, Manchester.
I bet if you goggle on the use of olive oil on your baby, about 99.9% of search results will either show you how to use it or the benefits of olive and so on.
But research reveals that applying olive or sunflower oil to the skin of healthy newborn babies can delay the development of the barrier that prevents water loss and protects against allergy and infection.
Contrary to the advice normally given by many midwives, who recommend olive or sunflower oil for dry skin in young babies, the researchers say that changes to baby skin care have been linked to a dramatic rise in eczema in recent decades. However, the researchers say there are few studies that support this.
They compared the rate of eczema in children in the 1940s to the present day and as shown, the rate of eczema in children aged 5-15 was around 5% in 1940’s and today it is around 30%.
115 newborn were recruited and grouped into 3 for a pilot study at Manchester’s Saint Mary’s Hospital. The groups were olive oil, sunflower oil and no oil. A few drops of oil were being applied to the skin of the babies in the oil groups. Oil was applied twice daily for 28 days.
At the end of 4 weeks, the lipid lamellae structures of the skin of the babies in all three groups were examined. The lipid lamellae is literally fatty plates or flakes found in the outermost layer of the skin known as stratum corneum. The stratum corneum plays an important role in the vital barrier function of the skin.
The development of lipid lamellae in the skin barrier may be delayed by oils.
According to the research, the development of the lipid lamellae in the skin of newborns in the oil group was delayed, compared to those in the no oil group. Below is the explanation given to the role of lipid lamellae in protecting the skin by Dr Alison Cooke, a lecturer in midwifery at Manchester.
“If the skin barrier function is a wall with bricks made of cells, then the lipid lamella is the mortar that holds it together. If it isn’t developed enough, then cracks appear which let water out and foreign bodies through.”According to Dr Alison, applying oil to the skin of a newborn baby prevents the “mortar” from developing as quickly as normal, and this could be a reason for the development of conditions like eczema.
Although the research found out that the skin of newborn babies with oil applied to their skin, were better hydrated, the researchers nevertheless believe it may not be a good enough reason to risk the possible effect on the barrier – at least not until more research carries out a fuller exploration.
However, it is believed that some studies from South Asia suggest that in developing countries, sunflower oil can protect the skin from microbial infection in preterm babies born.
“The researches acknowledge the need for more research with different oils and also studies on possible links to eczema.
However, the researchers believe that the current advice given to parents on the use of these oils is not based on any evidence, hence parents should avoid the use of olive or sunflower oils on the skin of newborn babies until further research validates its use.
News Source: MNT
Published by Med Switch Admin