Volume 9/Issue 5, September 2013
Should we use olive oil or sunflower oil on a preterm infantŐs skin?
Tara de Meza
Many health professionals recommend olive oil as a topical emollient for infant skin regardless of gestational age. A preterm infantŐs skin has a much thinner protective skin barrier than a term baby. The use of olive oil, which is high in oleic acid, has a damaging effect on the skinŐs protective barrier and therefore may further compromise the well-being of an already vulnerable baby. Alternatively, highly refined sunflower oil, which is very low in oleic acid, has positive antibacterial, moisturising and regenerative properties on the skinŐs protective barrier.
de Meza T Should we use olive oil or sunflower oil on a preterm infantŐs skin? Infant 2013; 9(5): 170-72.