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Skin Pharmacol Physiol. 2007;20(5):253-9. Epub 2007 Jun 22.

Functional assessment of a skin care system in patients on chemotherapy.

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  • 1Skin Physiology Laboratory, Friedrich-Schiller University, Jena, Germany.



Cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy frequently experience skin problems such as xerosis. The aim of this study was to verify whether a concomitant treatment with an acidic washing and an acidic emollient (both pH 5.5) can significantly improve the quality of the skin in such patients.


30 adult patients on chemotherapy experiencing dry and sensitive skin were included in a controlled, monocentric, 3-week treatment trial. One forearm served as a test site, the other one remained untreated. Noninvasive biophysical measurements were performed at baseline, on days 7, 14 and 21, along with clinical evaluation of the skin symptoms.


After a 3-week treatment, a significant increase in stratum corneum hydration was recorded in the treated site (p < 0.001). Reduced transepidermal water loss values, consistent with a restored barrier function, were obtained (p < 0.001). Casual sebum levels as measured by sebumetry showed a significant increase (p < 0.03). All skin symptoms investigated revealed a considerable improvement over 3 weeks.


Controlled and regular use of a skin care system, especially an acidic one, improved skin physiology in patients undergoing chemotherapy.

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