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almond oil, neonatal skin care, Neonatal Skin Condition Scores, NICU, preterm, stratum corneum hydration, sunflower seed oil



  1. Caglar, Seda PhD, RN
  2. Yildiz, Gizem Kerimoglu PhD, RN
  3. Bakoglu, Ilkay RN
  4. Salihoglu, Ozgul MD


OBJECTIVE: To investigate the effect of sunflower seed oil (SSO) and almond oil (AO) on stratum corneum hydration and Neonatal Skin Condition Scores (NSCSs) of preterm infants.


METHODS: This randomized controlled trial recruited 90 preterm infants whose gestational ages were between 32 and 37 weeks in the neonatal ICU. Infants were randomly assigned to three groups (SSO, AO, or control). The oils were applied to the whole body of each infant except for the head and face by a nurse researcher four times a day (4 mL/kg) for 5 days.


MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Skin condition of the infants as evaluated with the NSCS; hydration as measured by a skin moisture meter before and after application.


MAIN RESULTS: When average stratum corneum hydration was compared, infants in the SSO and AO groups had better hydration than infants in the control group. The NSCS scores in the control group were significantly higher than in the intervention groups, but there was no difference between the SSO and AO groups.


CONCLUSIONS: Neither SSO nor AO has harmful effects on the skin, and their use may improve stratum corneum hydration. These oils can be used by nurses to hydrate the skin of preterm infants. Further studies are needed to evaluate the efficacy of natural oils on infant skin.