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While completing a baby check on a healthy 2-day-old, a parent asks you about some areas of dry, cracked and flaky skin they have noticed on their infant. They have heard that natural plant oils are the best remedy and would like to know your opinion.
Structured clinical question
In healthy neonates with dry skin (population), does topical application of natural plant oils (intervention) or synthetic emollients (comparison) lead to the best dermatological results (outcome)?
We searched PubMed on 13 May 2017 using the following search criteria: (neonat* OR baby) AND skin AND (natural OR plant) oil* AND emollient*. Of 26 results, 14 were randomised controlled trials (RCTs). For the purposes of our review. we defined emollients as synthetic or commercial products used to moisturise skin. Selecting only studies that compared natural plant oils with emollients or other natural plant oils and focused on dermatological rather than clinical outcomes led to the inclusion of three trials. Notably, the Cochrane review Cleminson and McGuire 2016 analysed the incidence of invasive infection and mortality in …
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