• Water loss;
  • water balance;
  • newborn infants;
  • neonatal intensive care;
  • gestatational age

Abstract. Using a method described earlier, the evaporation rate (ER) was studied at different humidities in 12 newborn infants born after 25 to 30 weeks of gestation and 10 infants born after 32 to 35 weeks. Transepidermal water loss (TEWL) was estimated in 32 infants born after 25 to 39 weeks of gestation. The ER values were highest in the infants with the lowest gestational age and the susceptibility to changes in ambient humidity was also greater at lower gestational ages. An exponential relationship was found between TEWL and gestational age, TEWL being 15 times higher in infants born after 25 weeks of gestation than in full-term infants.