The following is a summary of “Maintaining Skin Integrity in Neonates with Sunflower Seed Oil and Liquid Vaseline: A Prospective Randomized Controlled Study,” published in the December 2022 issue of Advances in Skin & Wound Care by Karakoç, et al.

For a study, researchers sought to evaluate the efficiency of liquid Vaseline (LV) and sunflower seed oil (SSO) in preserving skin integrity in term and preterm infants in the neonatal ICU. Skin integrity disruption is an issue that is frequently seen in neonates since their skin is still developing.

Ninety preterm and term newborns from the neonatal ICU of a state hospital were evenly allocated into three groups for the randomized controlled trial. Utilizing the Neonatal Skin Condition Score (NSCS), the skin health of the newborns in all three groups was evaluated nine times, each time 48 hours apart. The skin of the newborns in the first group was moistened with SSO once daily for a total of 16 times, whereas the skin of the neonates in the second group was moisturized with LV. The skin of the third group of newborns did not get any moisturizer (the control group).

On average, it took 37.0 weeks to reach the full term (36.0–38.0 weeks). Following the third assessment, the control group’s median NSCS scores for newborns were considerably higher than those for the SSO and LV groups’ neonates (P<.001). Over the course of the trial, there was no change in the median NSCS scores of the control group.

Neonatal skin can be protected from injury using SSO or LV, both of which are safe for use on delicate skin. However, more in-depth research was required to assess how topical oils affect preserving skin integrity.