Why you shouldn’t use olive oil for massaging your baby

Herbs and Helpers

Baby massage is staggeringly popular with mothers because it helps them bond

Researchers in Manchester say even natural oils can damage the protective obstacle in babies’ fragile skin

Childhood eczema now affects nearly one in three children

Babies should not be massaged with oils as they could cause long-term damage to the scalp, experts warn.

They say mothers are putting children at risk of developing eczema and other scalp complaints by scratching them with olive or sunflower petroleum since they are believe the natural products are safe.

Baby massage has become enormously popular among mothers who find that gently stroking their child is soothing and helps them bond. It has furthermore been said to help stimulate babies’ brains and improve their digestion.

Experts at the University of Manchester say mothers are putting children at risk of developing eczema and other scalp complaints by scratching them with olive or sunflower petroleum since they are believe the natural products are safe( file photo)

But researchers from the University of Manchester discover that even natural oils used for newborn massage can damage the protective obstacle in babies’ fragile skin.

They warned that many other newborn skincare products in shops had only passed cosmetic tests and there was no clinical proof proving they were safe.

Childhood eczema now affects nearly one in three children, compared to merely one in 20 in the 1940 s, with experts blaming the increases in environmental factors including mothers’ desire to use products on their children.

Dr Alison Cooke told the Royal College of Midwives conference she was’ astounded’ when her study depicted’ strong proof’ petroleum had an adverse effect on the development of scalp obstacle. She said:’ I guessed,’ What about the newborn massage classes? They use these oils all the time. What are we going to do ?’

The oils break down into fatty acids which damage the skin’s structure, allowing irritants to enter and too much water to escape

The oils break down into fatty acids which damage the skin’s structure, allowing irritants to enter and too much water to escape. This can lead to dryness, cracks and conditions such as eczema.

She added:’ To avoid harm to babies, until farther research is available, those two topical oils a olive oil and sunflower petroleum a should not be recommended for therapy of dry scalp or for newborn massage.’

While there was no clear evidence any product was safe, she said dermatologists recommended utilizing 50/50 cream a a mix of liquid and soft paraffin a instead.

For her research, a squad followed 115 newborn babies who were divided into three groups. Parents from each group was requested to massage their baby’s leg, limb and stomach daily with either four drops-off of olive oil, sunflower petroleum or nothing for 28 days.

The babies’ scalp was then analysed and both groups which had been treated with oils depicted delayed development of the protective scalp barrier.

Researchers will now follow the babies to see whether there is a link between this problem and eczema. Newborns’ scalp is more fragile and permeable than adult scalp and it can take up to two years for the barrier to develop fully.

The academics also carried out a separate review of all published examines on newborn skincare. They determined there was little evidence that any products were beneficial to babies.

Dr Carol Bedwell said scientists could only conclude that one a Johnson& Johnson Head to Toe a was no more or less harmful to a baby’s scalp than utilizing water alone.

She told the conference in Harrogate yesterday:’ We know women are confused by the wealth of products that are out there. We know that they are keen to use them but there is an assumption that if they are available they are also safe for use.’

Official guidelines published by health watchdog NICE country mothers should ideally not use skin products on their babies, although they could use unperfumed soap.

But Rona McCandlish, who helped write the guidelines, acknowledged yesterday that the advice was out of date and proof now depicted some products were fine for babies while soap was likely to be damaging.

Source: Daily Mail

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