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Acta Derm Venereol. 1991;71(5):373-6.

The hydrating effect of a cream and white petrolatum measured by optothermal infrared spectrometry in vivo.

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Department of Pharmacology, A/S DUMEX, Copenhagen, Denmark.


Optothermal infrared spectrometry (OTIS) is a novel way of measuring the water content of stratum corneum non-invasively. This principle has been used in the present study to evaluate the hydrating effect of a one-week treatment of human skin twice a day with either white petrolatum or a cream (o/w emulsion). Forty-two females volunteered for the study, which comprised one control pretreatment week, one treatment week, and one post-treatment week. White petrolatum was greasy and did not produce any hydrating effect at any point in time when the hydration was measured 10 h after application, whereas the cream produced a clear hydration that became statistically significant from day one of treatment and was maintained for at least 2 days after the treatment was stopped. The hydrating effect amounted to an about 80% increase in those volunteers who had initial values below the mean OTIS value of 23.5%. It is concluded that saturation of the stratum corneum with appropriate lipids and emulsifiers as in the cream leads to hydration of the stratum corneum to about 35% water as measured by the OTIS technique.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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