Vernix caseosa

From Academic Kids

Missing image
Laura_2002feb02.jpg
Photograph of a female newborn ca. 2 minutes after birth, showing the vernix caseosa covering the skin.

Vernix, also known as Vernix caseosa, is the "waxy" or "cheesy" white substance found coating the skin of newborn humans. It is secreted by the fetus's sebaceous glands in utero, and is hypothesized to have antibacterial properties. The word "smegma" is occasionally used to describe vernix.

Vernix is composed of sebum (the oil of the skin) and cells that have sloughed off the fetus' skin.

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