Applying Olive and Sunflower Oil On Babies Can Promote Skin Problems

Dec 15, 2015 09:50 AM EST | By Jackie Pasaol

Applying either olive or sunflower onto baby's skin is not advisable as it can weaken their natural defenses that can lead to possible health problems, according to a new research.

According to a new findings, which was published in the journal of Acta Dermato-Venereologica, applying olive oil or sunflower onto new born infants' skin can damage their natural defenses. Experts found out that these oils can damage the babies' barriers that prevent water loss and block allergens and skin infections.

The research was conducted to 115 new born infants at Saint Mary's Hospitals, after obtaining parents' approval. The babies were divided into three groups. The other group was tested with olive oil, the other was sunflower while the third group no oil at all. The oil was applied to a particular area in the skin, twice a day for 28 days.

After the trial period, researchers investigated the lipid lamellae molecular structure of the babies. They found out that the natural skin barrier of the babies who were applied with oils were suppressed compared to the no oil group.

Alison Cooke, head of the research team concluded that using oils to babies can promote the development of skin problems such as eczema.

"If the skin barrier function is a wall with bricks made of cells, then the lipid lamellae is the mortar that holds it together," Ms Cooke explained to the Lab Manager magazine. "If it isn't developed enough then cracks appear which let water out and foreign bodies through. Oil prevents this mortar from developing as quickly and this could be linked to the development of conditions such as eczema."

The oil tests were conducted after researchers got concerned over the common health practices: applying olive or sunflower on babies. They believed that the rising number of eczema cases has something to do with the oil application practices.

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