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Natural oils such olive oil may be good for moisturizing baby’s skin. However, they might also increase the risk of childhood eczema, a 2016 study suggests.The study enrolled 115 mothers and their babies as participants. The results of their test showed that applying olive oil on the babies improved the hydration of their skin. However, the oil also negatively affected the development of the skin barrier. This could make the babies more prone to developing the skin disorder, investigators said.


Eczema is characterized by a breaking down of the skin barrier. In recent years, researchers have observed that this skin condition has been appearing more frequently among children aged 2 to 15 years. Forty-five percent of diagnoses are made in the baby’s first six months of life. Sixty percent are made in the baby’s first year.

Scientists believe that this increase in incidence is not due to genetic factors. They suspect an environmental factor instead.

The investigators of this study noted that parents have been applying more creams and oils on their babies’ skin. So they set out to see what the effects of these oils may be. They also wanted to check whether this practice had any relationship with the greater incidence of eczema.

The results of this study suggest that the application of these oils do have an effect, and it’s not necessarily a good one. So the investigators are now calling for further studies to better confirm the link between topical oil application and childhood eczema