Appropriate hydration and skin surface pH are of fundamental importance in preventing areola skin barrier damage and breastfeeding success. We studied the dermal effects of emu oil on areola skin soon after birth in 70 at-term breastfeeding mothers by noninvasive bioengineering method. Emu oil-based cream was found to be effective in improving stratum corneum hydration of breast areolae (mean ± standard deviation, from 56.9 ± 18.2 to 65.0 ± 17.2 conventional units, P < .003) and did not affect skin pH, temperature, or elasticity. The significant improvement in hydration values was more pronounced in the puerperae presenting with basal hydration in the lower quartiles (mean ± standard deviation, from 41.6 ± 17.2 to 59.6 ± 21.2 conventional units, P < .001). Further studies are warranted to confirm the long-term beneficial effects of this preparation in a very sensitive patient population.
Keywords: areola hydration; breastfeeding; emu oil; topical treatment.
© The Author(s) 2015.