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Summary

Neonatal skin experiences a progressive adaptation to the extrauterine environment during which special care is needed. The immaturity of the epidermal barrier in the neonatal period may cause dry skin, vulnerability to trauma, rapid onset of microbial colonization and percutaneous drug toxicity. This article reviews the practical implications for hygiene, bathing practices, skin integrity, emollient use, infection control and exposure to percutaneous toxic agents in preterm and term infants.