1. Yonezawa, Kaori PhD
  2. Haruna, Megumi PhD


Background/Objectives: This study examined the relationship between degree of neonatal physiologic desquamation and skin barrier functionality. In addition, we identified factors associated with neonatal desquamation.


Methods: This cross-sectional study assessed 4-day-old newborns. The desquamation level was evaluated and placed in one of the following categories based on the severity of the desquamation: no desquamation, a small amount, and severe (including cracked or bleeding). Skin barrier function was assessed by evaluating transepidermal water loss, stratum corneum hydration, skin pH, and sebum secretion.


Results: Among study participants, 67 (39.9%) showed no desquamation, 82 (48.8%) displayed a small amount, and 19 (11.3%) had severe desquamation. The group with severe desquamation had significantly elevated facial transepidermal water loss levels and reduced levels of stratum corneum hydration throughout the body, indicating skin barrier dysfunction, than other groups. In addition, the group with severe desquamation had a significantly longer gestational age, lower temperature and humidity level, smaller vernix caseosa, and tended to be born during winter.


Conclusions: To our knowledge, this is the first report indicating that infants with severe desquamation had worsened skin barrier function versus those with moderate and no desquamation. Future research should consider what kind of care should be provided to newborns with severe desquamation.