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Skin Res Technol. 2003 Feb;9(1):34-8.

Impact of stress of marital dissolution on skin barrier recovery: tape stripping and measurement of trans-epidermal water loss (TEWL).

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1
Estee Lauder Companies, Melville, NY, USA. nmuizzud@estee.com

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Psychological stress of marital disruption is associated with significant increases in a variety of psychological and physical disorders. The effect of stress on the immune system is well documented and skin disorders have been reported to exacerbate during stressful situations. This study was designed to observe the effects of stress on skin barrier strength and recovery. Twenty-eight healthy females age 21-45 who were in the process of marital separation were tested for skin barrier strength and recovery. The panel was chosen on the basis of the intensity of self perceived stress. The control group was an age-matched group of self perceived 'happy' subjects. Servomed evaporimeter was used to measure trans-epidermal water loss (TEWL) from cheek area of the face, before and after removing stratum corneum layers with tape strippings. Skin barrier strength was defined as the number of tape strippings required to disrupt skin barrier, which is a TEWL of 18 g/m2/h or more. Barrier recovery was denoted by the level of TEWL, 3 h and 24 h after barrier disruption.

RESULTS:

There was no correlation between the degree of stress and barrier strength. However, individuals with high stress recovered slower than the individuals with low stress after 3 h (R = 0.64) and 24 h (R = 0.74).

CONCLUSIONS:

Psychological stress of marital dissolution does not appear to change skin barrier strength but has a negative impact on skin barrier recovery.

PMID:
12535282
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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