Skin barrier responses to moisturizers

Detta är en avhandling från Uppsala : Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis

Sammanfattning: Moisturizers are used in various types of dry skin disorders, but also by people with healthy skin. It is not unusual that use of moisturizers is continued for weeks, months, or even years. A number of moisturizers have been shown to improve the skin barrier function, while others to deteriorate it, but the reason for observed effects remains unknown. Further understanding of the mechanism by which long-term treatment with moisturizers influences the skin barrier would have clinical implications, as barrier-deteriorating creams may enhance penetration of allergens or irritants and predispose to dry skin and eczema, while barrier-improving ones could reduce many problems.The present research combined non-invasive techniques with analyses of skin biopsies, allowing studies of the epidermis at molecular and cellular level. Test moisturizers were examined on healthy human volunteers for their effect on the skin barrier, with regard to such factors as pH, lipid type, and presence of a humectant, as well as complexity of the product. After a 7-week treatment with the moisturizers, changes in transepidermal water loss, skin capacitance, and susceptibility to an irritant indicated a modified skin barrier function. Moreover, the mRNA expression of several genes involved in the assembly, differentiation and desquamation of the stratum corneum, as well as lipid metabolism, was altered in the skin treated with one of the moisturizers, while the other moisturizer induced fewer changes.In conclusion, long-term use of moisturizers may strengthen the barrier function of the skin, but also deteriorate it and induce skin dryness. Moisturizers have also a significant impact on the skin biochemistry, detectable at molecular level. Since the type of influence is determined by the composition of a moisturizer, more careful selection of ingredients could help to design moisturizers generating a desired clinical effect, and to avoid ingredients with a negative impact on the skin.

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