During 9 months of pregnancy, a child develops a fully functioning skin. Babies born on term adjust to the relatively hostile conditions outside their mother's womb suprisingly fast. Dermatologic research is still busy unravelling the various adaptation processes necessary for surviving in low ambient humidity at varying tempaeratures and under permanent exposure to potentially noxious radiation, exogenous substances as well as myriads of friendly, neutral or dangerous microorganisms. Neither the skin structures nor the functions if a newborn are fully developed.
The skin is thinner, less tightly structured, almost sterile and has a PH near to neutral. Immediately after birth maturation processes set in which render the skin fit for fighting all kinds of attacks within a few days to weeks. The pH drops dramatically to reach the physiological acidic values. The uppermost layers turn into an efficient penetration barrier against water loss from the inside as well as intrusion of irritants or allergens.
Skin contact with family and friends provides a variety of microbes for the development of a healthy "microbiome" -- the entity of all micro-organisms colonizing the skin.
Skin cleansing and care influence the newborn's skin. Studies have demonstrated the Vernix caseosa, formerly thought to provide some protection, loses its function completely after birth. For skin cleansing, water alone cannot provide care effects comparable to those of mild, special cleansing products for babies, provided they are soap-free, acidic, and non-irritant.
Creams and lotions can support the protective functions of the not yet fully developed barrier, supply moisture and emollience which the dormant sebaceous glands cannot provide. New research indicated that regular skin care during the first months of life reduces the risk of outbreak of atopic eczema.
This information is brought to you by Sebamed. In the Philippines, DMark Beauty is the official distributor of Sebamed products. For the complete list of Sebamed products, click here.