11 Feb WaterWipes Can Help Reduce Diaper Dermatitis
MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Jill Sommerville M.Sc
Director of Medical at WaterWipes
MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? How prevalent is diaper dermatitis? Is it more severe in some babies?
Response: The Utah study is an independent clinical study conducted by the University of Utah Hospital NICU, Salt Lake City and recently published in Advances in Neonatal Care journal. It was a year-long study conducted between January 2018 – March 2019. The NICU staff were interested in exploring a new Perineal Skin Care Guideline in their unit, encompassing use of WaterWipes, to decrease the incidence of diaper dermatitis. Their stated aim was to reduce diaper dermatitis by 20% within a 1-year period. The study involved 1,070 premature babies, 11% of which were born at less than 30 weeks of gestational age. The inclusion criteria for the study were all babies who stayed for more than 1 day in the NICU.
Diaper dermatitis is known to cause discomfort and emotional distress in all babies and can be a possible source of infection among NICU babies. Diaper dermatitis remains prevalent, especially in preterm babies. The reported incidence varies from 21% to 25% among newborn intensive care babies. 1
Diaper dermatitis in pre term babies can be multifactorial especially as babies born early have a less well developed stratum corneum, the outer most layer of skin. NICU babies are often exposed to antibiotics and fortified milk to help them catch up growth. Other medical complications in addition can lead to altered gut flora and altered stool composition resulting in more frequency of stool.
The presence of urine and frequent stools necessitates regular cleaning which can result in excessive rubbing of the skin or the use of wipes containing harsh ingredients that can damage the skin.
MedicalResearch.com: How do WaterWipes differ from other diaper wipes? What is the fruit extract?
Response: WaterWipes have been specifically developed to be purer than cotton wool / cloth and water, while offering the convenience of a wipe. Containing just two ingredients, 99.9% high purity water and a drop of fruit extract, they provide gentle cleansing for the most delicate newborn skin and even premature babies’ skin.
WaterWipes are manufactured under clean room conditions using a unique purifying technology. The water passes through a seven-step purification process that uses a series of filters to remove impurities, soften and purify the water. This purifying process makes the water significantly purer than cooled boiled water and produces a unique product that effectively cleanses the skin, without the need for several additional cleansing ingredients. The drop of grapefruit seed extract in WaterWipes acts as a gentle skin conditioner.
MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings of the study?
Response: The main findings of the study are that use of WaterWipes, along with implementation of new perineal skin care guidelines, reduced overall diaper dermatitis (DD) incidence in premature babies by 17% and severe diaper dermatitis by over a third (35%). Duration of severe DD was shortened by more than half (57%).
MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report?
Response: The main conclusion is that WaterWipes can help to reduce diaper dermatitis incidence and duration in premature babies, including those less than 30 weeks gestation, whilst protecting the integrity of perineal skin. The results of the Utah study mirror the findings of a recent clinical study of 698 full-term babies, conducted by the University of Salford in Greater Manchester, UK.2 The Baby Skin Integrity Comparison Survey (BaSICS) and Utah study both show that babies cleansed with WaterWipes had a reduced incidence and shorter duration of diaper dermatitis.
MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this work?
Response: The University of Utah Hospital completed and published their study completely independently of WaterWipes. As a result of the study, the hospital’s NICU changed current practice, choosing to use only WaterWipes in place of baby wipe products containing several additives. I hope that these findings encourage other NICUs to also consider WaterWipes to help improve perineal skincare outcomes and maintain skin integrity for premature babies’ delicate skin.
- Malik A, Witsberger E, Cottrell L, Kiefer A, Yossuck P. Perianal dermatitis, its incidence, and patterns of topical therapies in a level IV neonatal intensive care unit. Am J Perinatol. 2018;35(5):486-493.
- Price AD, Lythgoe J, Ackers-Johnson J, Cook PA, Clarke-Cornwell A, MacVane Phipps F. The BaSICS (Baby Skin Integrity Comparison Survey) Study: a prospective experimental study using maternal observation to report the effect of baby wipes on the incidence of irritant diaper dermatitis from birth to eight weeks of age. Pediatrics & Neonatology 2020. doi:10.1016/j.perneo.2020.10.003. [Epub ahead of print
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