Babies teach chemists the secret of soft skin
It's vernix, a coating formed in the womb, and a synthetic version is on the way
By ANNE McILROY
Wednesday, May 7, 2003 - Page A1
"One of the secrets to babies' smooth, soft skin is the greasy-looking white substance that covers them in the womb, scientists have discovered.
Now researchers are developing a synthetic version of the material, known as vernix, as a miracle moisturizer that also prevents infection and helps heal wounds.
"We were pondering why it is that an infant that spends nine months in a water environment, some of which is urine, can come out with such wonderful skin," says Marty Visscher, a chemist at Cincinnati's Children's Hospital Medical Center...."
[Nothing about breastfeeding here folks, just my eye rolling at the idea of synthetic vernix. Maybe this will keep the nurses from scrubbing "clean" our newborns? - JC]