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Preventing Skin Problems in Newborn Babies

What is the most effective skincare routine for reducing skin problems in newborn babies? More than 50 per cent of newborns have skin problems such as diaper dermatitis, seborrheic eczema and prickly heat. This is because newborns’ skin can easily become dry, leaving the skin vulnerable. An effective newborn skincare protocol has not been established and doctors can sometimes struggle to offer dependable advice to parents.

A study recently published in The Journal of Dermatology looked at the effects of moisturising skincare, including using lotion and reducing routine bathing. Researchers hypothesised that moisturising skincare would improve skin barrier function and lead to better skin health in newborns. They conducted a randomised controlled trial including 227 healthy Asian babies aged between one week and three months old.

The study compared moisturising skin care (bathing every two days and using lotion daily) to daily bathing without lotion. Results were based on an assessment of the skin barrier function and the incidence of skin problems according to parents’ diary reports over three months.

Newborns in the moisturising skincare group had significantly lower rates of diaper dermatitis between birth and one month, compared with the newborns who were bathed daily (6.3% vs 15.9%). The moisturising skincare group also had lower rates of skin problems between one and three months.

The study concluded that moisturising skincare is effective for improving skin barrier function and preventing newborns’ diaper dermatitis. The results might help doctors give more evidence-based advice about newborn skincare and assist parents in making informed decisions.

Read more about paediatric dermatology.


Yonezawa, K. et al. (January 2018.) Effects of moisturizing skincare on skin barrier function and the prevention of skin problems in 3-month-old infants: A randomized controlled trial. The Journal of Dermatology. Volume 45. Issue 1. Pages 24-30. DOI: 10.1111/1346-8138.14080.

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The HealthCert Professional Diploma of General Dermatology will teach you how to manage all major dermatological conditions in primary care. The courses are university quality-assured, CPD-accredited and count towards multiple Master degree pathways and clinical attachment programs in Australia and overseas. The program is delivered online.

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