Does Applying Oils To Baby Skin Increase Eczema?

Dr Alison Cooke PhD, MRes, BMidwif (Hons), RM Lecturer in Midwifery (Teaching and Research) School of Nursing, Midwifery & Social Work The University of Manchester Oxford Road Manchester

Dr. Alison Cooke

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Dr Alison Cooke PhD, MRes, BMidwif (Hons), RM
Lecturer in Midwifery (Teaching and Research)
School of Nursing, Midwifery & Social Work
The University of Manchester
Oxford Road Manchester 

Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Dr. Cooke: The use of topical oils for the management of newborn dry skin or for massage is a common practice across the globe. In the UK, olive oil and sunflower oil are commonly recommended by maternity service health professionals for baby dry skin, yet there is no evidence to support this practice. The OBSeRvE study was conducted to investigate the effect of these two oils on healthy term newborn baby skin barrier function. The study found that both oils impeded the development of the skin barrier function from birth.

Medical Research: What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?

Dr. Cooke: As both oils adversely affected skin barrier function in term newborn babies, until further research is conducted we recommend that neither oil is used on baby skin in order to avoid any potential harm.

Medical Research: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Dr. Cooke: The OBSeRvE study has shown that these oils have a biological effect on skin barrier function. Future research needs to investigate the clinical importance of this to address the question: is the use of olive oil or sunflower oil from birth a contributory factor in the development of atopic eczema in healthy infants?

Citation:

A Cooke, M Cork, S Victor, M Campbell, S Danby, J Chittock, T Lavender.
Olive Oil, Sunflower Oil or no Oil for Baby Dry Skin or Massage: A Pilot, Assessor-blinded, Randomized Controlled Trial (the Oil in Baby SkincaRE [OBSeRvE] Study). Acta Dermato Venereologica, 2014; 0 DOI:10.2340/00015555-2279

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Dr Alison Cooke PhD (2015). Does Applying Oils To Baby Skin Increase Eczema?