The influence of different types of barrier creams on skin barrier function
Du Plessis, Sonette
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Aims and objectives: The research aims and objectives of this study were: Firstly to determine the positive effects and possible disadvantages of three types of barrier creams on skin barrier function by determining skin barrier function by measuring stratum corneum hydration transepidermal water loss (TEWL) and skin surface pH. Secondly to compare different racial skin types (African skin to Caucasian skin) by determining the effects of barrier cream on skin barrier function. Finally to compare the effect of the three different barrier creams on four different anatomical areas. Methods: Thirty eight non-smoking male test subjects took part in this study where three different types of barrier creams were tested on their arms and hands in a controlled laboratory environment. The thirty eight test subjects consisted of nineteen African and nineteen Caucasian test subjects. Three parameters were measured namely TEWL, stratum corneum hydration and pH condition of the skin. TEWL was measured using a Vapometer (Delfin Technology Ltd. Finland). The Multi probe Adapter system (MPA) (Courage and Khazaka, Germany) was used with a temperature and humidity sensor and with the following probes all from Courage and Khazaka, Germany: a Corneometer measuring skin hydration and a pH-Meter measuring skin surface pH. The measurements were repeated on each of the four sampling areas (forearm, wrist, back of hand and palm) with a reasonable time interval between each measurement. After the baseline measurement the barrier cream was applied by the researcher on the test subjects’ dominant arm. The long term effects were determined after the baseline measurement in intervals of 2 hours. Directly after each measurement the barrier cream was reapplied. Results: Gloves In A Bottle™ increased stratum corneum hydration, had no effect on TEWL and increased skin surface pH, whereas Reinol™ increased stratum corneum hydration and decreased TEWL and had no effect on pH values. Travabon™ decreased stratum corneum hydration and TEWL and had no effect on skin surface pH. The results indicated that there were significant differences between Caucasian and African test subjects with the use of barrier creams, because of the baseline differences and the reaction to barrier creams showed different results. There were also statistically significant differences in the four different anatomical areas where the barrier creams were applied. Conclusion: Barrier creams are beneficial in the workplace, although it should be taken into consideration that different ethnicities react differently to barrier creams under different workplace situations and therefore this should be taken into account when selecting a barrier cream.
- Health Sciences