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Int J Cosmet Sci. 2009 Oct;31(5):369-74. doi: 10.1111/j.1468-2494.2009.00505.x. Epub 2009 May 13.

Electrometric assessment of the effect of a zinc oxide paste in diaper dermatitis.

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Laboratory of Skin Bioengineering and Imaging, Department of Dermatopathology, University Hospital of Liège, Liège, Belgium.


Diaper dermatitis affects nearly 50% of infants as well as some bed-ridden adults particularly in the elderly people. This condition is induced by irritation and maceration, and may be further exacerbated by Candida sp. colonization and infection. A key factor in the pathogenesis is the alteration in both the barrier function and the water-holding capacity of the stratum corneum. The purpose of this study was to assess the effects of an unmedicated zinc oxide-petrolatum paste and to observe for possible shielding and restoring effects on the water-holding capacity of the stratum corneum altered by diaper dermatitis. The paste appeared to load the hollow skin microrelief. It was inferred that this effect was responsible for a reticulated shielding effect. Compared with healthy skin and untreated diaper dermatitis, the application of the anhydrous paste resulted in a trend to normalize electrometric properties of skin reflecting the combination of transepidermal water loss and the water-holding capacity of the stratum corneum.

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