“Every good and perfect gift is from above” James 1:17
Ten little fingers, Ten little toes
Skin as soft as the petal of a rose!
We have all heard the saying “Soft as a baby’s skin”. Many of us have marveled at how delicate and precious a baby’s skin is just after birth. After being in the mother’s womb for 9 months protected by amniotic fluid, what protects a newborn’s skin?
Have you ever wondered what the cheesy looking white substance is on the skin of newborn babies? This is their skin’s protection and is known as vernix, or Vernix Caseosa.
Vernix is composed of many substances including sebum. Sebum is a waxy, oily substance that is secreted by the unborn baby’s sebaceous glands. The sebum is produced at around the 20th week of pregnancy. Other substances have basically shed or sloughed off of the fetus’ skin and combined with the sebum to create this oily, waxy type coating.
As with most things that occur ‘naturally’, vernix serves an important purpose. It helps with the passage of the baby through the birth canal. It also helps moisturize the newborn’s delicate skin and offers protection from cold temperatures and other environmental stressors the baby will be subjected to right after birth. With all of the benefits, it is no wonder that the make-up of vernix has intrigued researchers and scientist for years.
Scientists would love to find a way to duplicate the characteristics of vernix to help with skin problems occurring after birth and throughout adulthood. There has been much research done on the components and individual characteristics of vernix, most specifically sebum.
Maybe one day we will all have skin as soft as a newborn baby.