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Keywords:

  • skin barrier maturation;
  • infant;
  • baby swimming;
  • TEWL;
  • pH;
  • sebum;
  • gender

Summary

Background: Skin care is important especially in infancy as the skin barrier matures during the first year of life. We studied the effects of baby swimming and baby lotion on the skin barrier function of infants.

Subjects and methods: 44 infants aged 3–6 months were included in this mono-center prospective study. The healthy infants swam four times and were randomized to groupL: baby lotion was applied after swimming all over the body and to groupWL: no lotion was used. Transepidermal water loss, stratum corneum hydration, skin-pH and sebum were measured on four body regions using non-invasive methods.

Results: In groupL, sebum and pH remained stable. In groupWL, significant decrease in sebum was noted on forehead and thigh, and for pH on thigh and buttock. GroupL had fewer infants with at least one adverse event compared to groupWL. Location-dependent gender differences in skin barrier function were observed.

Conclusions: Reaction of skin barrier function to baby swimming and skin care regimens showed typical regional variability between body areas. Influence of baby lotion on skin barrier and gender differences in skin functional parameters were demonstrated for the first time in healthy infants participating in baby swimming.