Monday, December 14, 2015

Don't drench the tot in olive or sunflower oil

Not a salad.
Apparently many midwives recommend these two "natural" oils for new-born baby skin.

The incidence of eczema in babies has gone from 5% to 30% since the 1940s.

But new research at the University of Manchester (England) has found that these two oils may damage the barrier that prevents water loss and blocks allergens and infections.

Of course--they did a study. They looked at 115 infants--three groups--olive oil, sunflower, no oil.

At the end of 28 days, they looked at the lipid lamellae--the "mortar" holding skin cells together. The oil apparently left cracks in this, letting water out and infection in. Or at least it developed more slowly--resulting in eczema.

They did say sunflower oil can kill microbes, so for babies in underdeveloped areas, might be OK--but for healthy babies in Britain, best to avoid.

What about nice-smelling baby oil--the go-to of yore? Not tested.

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