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Acta Derm Venereol. 1990;70(5):400-4.

In vivo hydration and water-retention capacity of stratum corneum in clinically uninvolved skin in atopic and psoriatic patients.

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Department of Dermatology, University of Pavia, IRCCS Policlinico S. Matteo, Italy.


Hydration and the water-retention capacity of stratum corneum have been investigated in uninvolved psoriatic and atopic skin and compared with that of healthy controls. Thirty-three subjects of either sex and matched for age entered the study. The subjects were free from all signs of skin disease and skin dryness. Hydration was evaluated by means of transepidermal water loss and skin capacitance measurements. Water-retention capacity was investigated using the plastic occlusion stress test. Atopic skin differed significantly from uninvolved psoriatic and control skin which had a reduced water content and an increased transepidermal water loss. Furthermore, the skin surface water loss profile representing the stratum corneum water-retention capacity was significantly lower in normal atopic skin. The data suggest that clinically normal skin may be functionally abnormal, resulting in a defective barrier that could lead to higher risk of irritant or contact dermatitis.

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