Advertisement

How will my premature baby's skin be cared for in the NICU?

Intermountain Registered Dietitians
Nutrition & Dietetics Specialist

Premature babies have fragile skin that is very thin and absorbent. Until the skin matures, it doesn’t offer a good protective barrier for your baby and needs to be handled with care to prevent tearing or bruising.

Your baby’s nutrition plays a big role in healthy skin development and optimal healing. Your baby’s nutrition will be carefully watched in the NICU. To help prevent water loss, humidified air may be delivered into your baby’s bed.

Dry, flaky skin is normal for premature babies in the NICU. However, lotions and creams should not routinely be used. If the skin becomes too dry or starts to crack, a tiny amount of prescribed cream that does not contain fragrances or alcohol may be used to condition the skin.

Your baby will be bathed in the NICU only when necessary. A heat lamp may be used during the bath to keep your baby’s temperature from dropping.

Premature skin is very sensitive to tape and can be easily irritated or torn when tape is removed. Therefore, tape will be used in the NICU only when necessary. The tapes and adhesives that are used have been chosen because they are best tolerated and least damaging to your baby’s fragile skin.

Continue Learning about Critical Care

Does Your ER Make the Grade? How the U.S. Rates
Does Your ER Make the Grade? How the U.S. Rates
If you have an emergency, you assume that your 911 services and ER will be ready to take care of you, right?  But what if they aren’t? Unfortunately, ...
Read More
Why do I need a living will when I'm admitted to the critical care unit?
Debra DibartoloDebra Dibartolo
The doctor or nurse practitioner asks if you have a living will for several reasons; To be sure y...
More Answers
7 Dangerous Emergency Surgeries
7 Dangerous Emergency Surgeries7 Dangerous Emergency Surgeries7 Dangerous Emergency Surgeries7 Dangerous Emergency Surgeries
Some of the most common emergency surgeries can also be the riskiest.
Start Slideshow
What Can I Expect in Critical Care?
What Can I Expect in Critical Care?

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.