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J Trop Pediatr. 2015 Dec;61(6):414-20. doi: 10.1093/tropej/fmv049. Epub 2015 Sep 3.

Topical Oil Application and Trans-Epidermal Water Loss in Preterm Very Low Birth Weight Infants-A Randomized Trial.

Author information

1
Department of Neonatology, Lady Hardinge Medical College & Kalawati Saran Children's Hospital, New Delhi 110001, India drsnangia@gmail.com.
2
Department of Pediatrics, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi 110029, India.
3
Department of Biostatistics, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi 110029, India.
4
Department of Pediatrics, Government Medical College, Chandigarh 160030, India.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

Topical emollient application reduces trans-epidermal water loss (TEWL) in preterm neonates. Coconut oil used traditionally for infant massage in India has not been evaluated for the same.

PATIENTS AND METHODS:

Very low birth weight (VLBW) neonates were randomized at 12 h of age to Oil (n = 37) or Control (n = 37) groups. Oil group neonates received twice-daily coconut oil application without massage, and Control group received standard care. TEWL was measured every 12 h using an evaporimeter till Day 7 when skin swabs were obtained for bacterial growth and skin condition was assessed using a validated score.

RESULTS:

Birth weight (g; mean ± SD: 1213 + 214 vs. 1164 + 208, p = 0.31), gestation [week; median (interquartile range): 32 (31-33) vs. 32 (29-33), p = 0.10] and other baseline variables were comparable. TEWL was significantly reduced (g/m(2)/h, mean difference: -6.80, 95% confidence interval: -3.48, -10.15; p < 0.01) with better skin condition and lower bacterial growth in the Oil group (20% vs. 60%, p < 0.01).

CONCLUSION:

Coconut oil application reduced TEWL without increasing skin colonization in VLBW neonates.

CLINICAL TRIALS REGISTRATION:

NCT01758068.

KEYWORDS:

coconut oil; neonate; prematurity; skin conditioning score; trans-epidermal water loss; very low birth weight

PMID:
26338490
DOI:
10.1093/tropej/fmv049
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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