Prevention Strategies for Neonatal Skin Injury in the NICU

Neonatal Netw. 2020 Nov 1;39(6):321-329. doi: 10.1891/0730-0832/11-T-623.


Purpose: The purpose of this article was to determine specific skin injury prevention interventions for neonates in the NICU.

Design: The design was a systematic review.

Sample: PubMed, Cumulative Index of Nursing and Allied Health Literature (CINAHL), Embase, and Scopus were systematically searched to identify quantitative studies identifying skin injury preventions for neonates in the NICU.

Outcomes: The outcomes included skin integrity or skin condition.

Results: Nineteen studies were included in the review. Twelve studies included a randomized design. Barriers were the main interventions for the prevention of pressure injury, medical adhesive skin injury, diaper dermatitis, and general skin condition. The types of barriers included hydrocolloids, polyurethane-based dressings, film-forming skin protectant, or emollients. Nonbarrier interventions included rotation between a mask and nasal continuous positive airway pressure (NCPAP) interfaces, utilization of prescribed guidelines to decrease pressure injuries, and use of a lower concentration of chlorhexidine gluconate as a disinfectant.

Keywords: NICU; barriers; neonate; prevention; skin injury.

Publication types

  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Bandages
  • Continuous Positive Airway Pressure
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Intensive Care Units, Neonatal*
  • Skin
  • Skin Diseases*