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J Dermatol Sci. 2002 Oct;30(1):37-42.

Occurrence of patchy parakeratosis in normal-appearing skin in patients with active atopic dermatitis and in patients with healed atopic dermatitis: a cause of impaired barrier function of the atopic skin.

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1
Department of Dermatology, Shiga University of Medical Science, Tsukinowa-cho, Seta, Otsu, 520-2192, Japan.

Abstract

It remains unclear whether an impaired barrier function often seen in areas of normal-appearing skin in patients with active atopic dermatitis (AD) is primary event in nature or secondary to subclinical eczematous change. We then attempted to evaluate the barrier function of normal-appearing skin in both active and healed AD patients, and as well as see whether a subclinical eczematous change exists or not in the normal-appearing skin using a non-invasive method. Transepidermal water loss (TEWL) measurement and exfoliative cytology method for corneal layer were applied in 153 AD patients who have active skin lesions and 29 individuals with completely healed AD for at least 5 years and 40 normal individuals. The TEWL of normal-appearing skin in severe, moderate and mild AD cases was 10.5+/-2.9, 8.3+/-2.4 and 7.3+/-2.1 g/m2 per h, respectively. The TEWL values in severe and moderate cases were significantly higher than the normal controls (6.2+/-1.6 g/m2 per h). However, the TEWL was not deranged in patients with completely healed AD. An exfoliative cytology examination of corneal layer disclosed that patchy parakeratosis appeared in normal-appearing skin in severe, moderate and mild AD cases at a rate of 42, 29 and 19%, respectively. However, no patchy parakeratosis was recognized in patients with completely healed AD. The occurrence of patchy parakeratosis in normal-appearing skin in patients with active AD suggests that an impaired barrier function often seen in normal-appearing skin in AD patients is secondary to subclinical eczematous change in the area.

PMID:
12354418
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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