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Br J Dermatol. 2010 Apr;162(4):812-8. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2133.2009.09602.x. Epub 2009 Nov 25.

Dirt-binding particles consisting of hydrogenated castor oil beads constitute a nonirritating alternative for abrasive cleaning of recalcitrant oily skin contamination in a three-step programme of occupational skin protection.

Author information

1
Department of Dermatology, University Hospital of Erlangen, Hartmannstr. 14, D-91052 Erlangen, Germany. vera.mahler@uk-erlangen.de

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

In occupational fields with exposure to grease, oil, metal particles, coal, black lead or soot, cleansing formulations containing abrasive bodies (e.g. refined walnut shell, corn, wood, plastic or pumice) are used. These may constitute an irritant per se. As an alternative, hydrogenated castor oil (also known as castor wax) beads have been developed as dirt-binding particles. A polar surface contributes to their mechanical cleaning effects in removal of oily grime.

OBJECTIVES:

Standardized examination of the in vivo effects upon the skin barrier of castor wax beads in comparison with abrasive bodies and pure detergent.

METHODS:

Three cleansing preparations - (i) detergent, (ii) detergent containing castor wax beads, (iii) detergent containing walnut shell powder - were each repetitively applied in vivo (four times daily for 3 weeks), mimicking workplace conditions, in 30 healthy volunteers (15 with and 15 without an atopic skin diathesis) and compared vs. (iv) no treatment. The treatment effects upon the skin barrier were monitored by repeated measurements of functional parameters [transepidermal water loss (TEWL), redness] and surface topography.

RESULTS:

After a 3-week treatment, a significant global treatment effect (P < 0.0001) was found in the atopic group concerning TEWL as indicator for barrier function. A significantly higher TEWL and increasing erythema in the area treated with detergent containing walnut shell powder reflected its irritant effect compared with castor wax beads dispensed in the identical detergent. Cleaning properties of the two formulas were comparably superior to detergent alone.

CONCLUSIONS:

Castor wax beads constitute a novel nonirritating alternative for abrasive cleaning of recalcitrant oily skin contamination appropriate for individuals with an atopic skin diathesis in a three-step programme of occupational skin protection. As the skin barrier may additionally be influenced by the composition of dirt and use of skin protection and skin care measures under real workplace conditions, this component may now be used and examined further in different occupations.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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