Effects of an emollient application on newborn skin from birth for prevention of atopic dermatitis: a randomized controlled study in Thai neonates
L Techasatian*, ผกาพรรณ เกียรติชูสกุล
Pediatric Dermatology Division, Pediatric Department, Faculty of Medicine, Khon Kaen University, Khon Kaen, Thailand; Email: [email protected]

Background: Enhancing the skin barrier in high-risk neonates by daily use of emollients during infancy might prevent atopic dermatitis (AD); however, there have been no studies on this topic in a country with a tropical climate. Climate may affect the results of the use of emollients in neonates for AD prevention and possible adverse cutaneous eruptions.

Objectives: To test the hypothesis that emollients used during infancy can prevent AD in high-risk neonates in a country with a tropical climate and to evaluate other possible adverse cutaneous eruptions in this population.

Methods: This was a randomized controlled study in a tertiary care hospital with a 6 months' duration. Eligible neonates were randomly assigned to receive either emollient and skincare advice (emollient group) or skincare advice only (control group). The intervention was started within 3 weeks of birth.

Results: The emollient group showed a significant reduction in the cumulative incidence of AD at 6 months (relative risk, 0.39; 95% CI 0.24-0.64; P < 0.001). The emollient group started to develop AD later and had a lower severity of AD than the control group (P < 0.001). Compared to moderate adherence, low adherence to emollient application was associated with a lower number of patients with AD (P = 0.008). Potentially emollient-related cutaneous eruptions, such as miliaria, and suspected cutaneous infections, such as impetigo, were more frequent in the emollient group. Exposure to passive smoking showed a significant difference in the development of AD compared to non-smoking exposure, both during pregnancy and after the child's birth (P < 0.001).

Conclusions: This study suggests that, in a tropical climate, emollient applied to the skin of at-risk neonates on an 'as needed' basis (depending on environmental factors, level of skin dryness), rather than on a 'daily basis', can provide a substantial benefit for AD prevention.

Journal of the European Academy of Dematology and Venereology ปี 2565, January ปีที่: 36 ฉบับที่ 1 หน้า 76-83