Study of Preterm Infants Confirms Benefits of Coconut Oil for Skin

A 2015 study in India was devised to give scientific authenticity for a traditional Indian practice of massaging newborns' skin with coconut oil. The study was published by the Journal of Tropical Pediatrics, in September 2015 as “Topical Oil Application and Trans-Epidermal Water Loss in Preterm Very Low Birth Weight Infants-A Randomized Trial." The researchers' objective was to determine coconut oil's protection against trans-epidermal water loss (TEWL). There have been many attempts at resolving preterm and term birth water loss among newborns that are more along the technical lines of Western medicine's hospital hardware. This was the first study that focused on the traditional Indian method of massaging the infants with coconut oil. The researchers discovered the coconut oil treated infants had significantly lower TEWL than the group that was not treated topically with coconut oil. Those coconut oil treated newborn infants were without skin bacterial colonization and displayed an overall better quality of skin than the untreated group.