Extra virgin coconut oil not only prevent neonates and infants because their skin differs from mature adult skin in structure, function, and composition and is particularly susceptible to infection. During the late fetal period (20 weeks to birth), skin becomes functional and develops a protective barrier. Although full-term infants are born with a competent skin barrier, their skin is still developing through the first year of life. During the postnatal period, even the composition of commensal bacteria residing on the skin surface differs from that of adults and continues to evolve over the first year of life.
Given that skin continues to develop through the first year of life, the use of appropriate, evidence-based skin care practices is important. Maintaining skin barrier function is critical to preventing organ dehydration. The SC water content is involved in maintaining SC structural integrity and functionality. It is generally accepted that recommendations for infant skin care regimens should be evidence-based. Although several studies have evaluated nonprescription emollient strategies to improve barrier function or improve fluid and electrolyte balance in neonates, infants, or children with compromised skin, limited information is available on skin care regimens that enable maintenance or enhancement of skin barrier integrity in normal neonatal or infant skin.
Skin cleansing and emollient use are two simple strategies that can help keep skin healthy. Proper skin cleansing helps keep infant skin free of unwanted irritants, including saliva, nasal secretions, urine, faeces, faecal enzymes, dirt, and microbial pathogens. Exposure to such factors for long periods, especially in the diaper region, can lead to discomfort, irritation, infection, and skin barrier breakdown. In many cases, water alone is not sufficient to cleanse the skin during bathing. Epidemiologic studies and anecdotal reports have even suggested a possible link between household use of hard water and atopic eczema in children, though a causal relationship has not been found.
In addition to using cleansers during bathing, emollient use during or after bathing may have benefits. Emollients decrease transepidermal water loss (TEWL), improve skin conditions, and may even lead to reduced mortality in extremely premature infants. In adults, 7 weeks of emollient use is supposed to lead to the improvement in skin barrier function.