Objective To investigate the effect of baby wipes compared to cotton wool with clear water on skin barrier in healthy, full-term newborns.
Methods In a monocenter, prospective, randomized clinical study 40 healthy, full-term neonates (20 boys and 20 girls) aged ⩽48 hours were recruited and randomly assigned to group 1 (n = 20, use of baby wipes: wet wipes with stripes of emollients) and to group 2 (n = 20, use of cotton wool cloth, moistened with clear water during diaper changes). During the observation period both groups had obtained a standard skin care regime.
Transepidermal water loss (TEWL), stratum corneum hydration (SCH) and skin pH were measured on day 2, 14 and 28 of life on the abdomen, upper leg and buttock. The D-Squame method was performed at day 2, 14 and 28 on the upper leg and buttock. Microbiological skin colonisation in the area of the umbilical and gluteal region was performed at day 2 and 28.
Results Group 1 showed a significantly lower TEWL on the buttocks (9.6 g/m2/h) compared to group 2 (11.15 g/m2/h) at day 28. No differences in SCH, skin surface pH, epidermal desquamation and frequency of diaper dermatitis were found comparing both groups.
Conclusions The use of these particular baby wipes with high emollient content on the diaper area seems to stabilize the skin barrier better than using a cotton wool cloth with water. Both cleansing procedures do not harm the natural maturation of skin barrier within the first four weeks of extra-uterine life.