Significance: The skin is a complex and dynamic organ that performs several vital functions. The maturation process of the skin starts at birth with the adaption of the skin to the comparatively dry environment compared to the in utero milieu. This adaptive flexibility results in the unique properties of infant skin. To deliver appropriate care to infant skin, it is necessary to understand that it is evolving with unique characteristics. Recent Advances: The role of biophysical noninvasive techniques in the assessment of skin development underlines the importance of an objective evaluation of skin physiology parameters. Skin hydration, transepidermal water loss, and pH values are measurable with specific instruments that give us an accurate and reproducible assessment during infant skin maturation. The recording of these values, following standard measurement procedures, allows us to evaluate the integrity of the skin barrier and to monitor the functionality of the maturing skin over time. Critical Issues: During the barrier development, impaired skin function makes the skin vulnerable to chemical damage, microbial infections, and skin diseases, possibly compromising the general health of the infant. Preterm newborns, during the first weeks of life, have an even less developed skin barrier and, therefore, are even more at risk. Thus, it is extremely important to evaluate the risk of infection, skin breakdown, topical agent absorption, and the risk of thermoregulation failure. Future Directions: Detailed and objective evaluations of infant skin maturation are necessary to improve infant skin care. The results of these evaluations should be formed into general protocols that will allow doctors and caregivers to give more personalized care to full-term newborns, preterm newborns, and infants.

Skin Physiology of the Neonate and Infant: Clinical Implications

Oranges, Teresa;DINI, VALENTINA;ROMANELLI, MARCO
2015-01-01

Abstract

Significance: The skin is a complex and dynamic organ that performs several vital functions. The maturation process of the skin starts at birth with the adaption of the skin to the comparatively dry environment compared to the in utero milieu. This adaptive flexibility results in the unique properties of infant skin. To deliver appropriate care to infant skin, it is necessary to understand that it is evolving with unique characteristics. Recent Advances: The role of biophysical noninvasive techniques in the assessment of skin development underlines the importance of an objective evaluation of skin physiology parameters. Skin hydration, transepidermal water loss, and pH values are measurable with specific instruments that give us an accurate and reproducible assessment during infant skin maturation. The recording of these values, following standard measurement procedures, allows us to evaluate the integrity of the skin barrier and to monitor the functionality of the maturing skin over time. Critical Issues: During the barrier development, impaired skin function makes the skin vulnerable to chemical damage, microbial infections, and skin diseases, possibly compromising the general health of the infant. Preterm newborns, during the first weeks of life, have an even less developed skin barrier and, therefore, are even more at risk. Thus, it is extremely important to evaluate the risk of infection, skin breakdown, topical agent absorption, and the risk of thermoregulation failure. Future Directions: Detailed and objective evaluations of infant skin maturation are necessary to improve infant skin care. The results of these evaluations should be formed into general protocols that will allow doctors and caregivers to give more personalized care to full-term newborns, preterm newborns, and infants.
2015
Oranges, Teresa; Dini, Valentina; Romanelli, Marco
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11568/818838
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