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Br J Dermatol. 2018 Aug;179(2):471-477. doi: 10.1111/bjd.16591. Epub 2018 May 28.

Accelerated barrier recovery and enhancement of the barrier integrity and properties by topical application of a pH 4 vs. a pH 5·8 water-in-oil emulsion in aged skin.

Author information

1
Department of Dermatology, University of Lübeck, Lübeck, Germany.
2
Department of Dermatology, Kepler University Hospital, Linz, Austria.
3
Dr August Wolff GmbH & Co. KG Arzneimittel, Sudbrackstraße 56, D-33611, Bielefeld, Germany.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Increased skin-surface pH is an important host-related factor for deteriorated barrier function in aged skin.

OBJECTIVES:

We investigated whether restoration of skin pH through topical application of a water-in-oil emulsion with pH 4 improved the barrier homeostasis in aged skin, and compared the effects with an identical galenic formulation with pH 5·8.

METHODS:

The effects of the test formulations on barrier recovery were investigated by repeated measurements of transepidermal water loss (TEWL) and skin pH 3 h, 6 h and 24 h after acetone-induced impairment of barrier function in aged skin. The long-term effects of the pH 4 and pH 5·8 emulsions were analysed by investigation of the barrier integrity and cohesion, the skin-surface pH and the skin roughness and scaliness before and after a 4-week, controlled application of the formulations.

RESULTS:

The application of the pH 4 emulsion accelerated barrier recovery in aged skin: 3 h and 6 h after acetone-induced barrier disruption the differences in the TEWL recovery between the pH 4 treated and acetone control fields were significant. Furthermore, long-term application of the pH 4 formulation resulted in significantly decreased skin pH, enhanced barrier integrity and reduced skin-surface roughness and scaliness. At the same time points, the pH 5·8 formulation exerted only minor effects on the barrier function parameters.

CONCLUSIONS:

Exogenous acidification through topical application of a water-in-oil emulsion with pH 4 leads to improvement of the skin barrier function and maintenance of the barrier homeostasis in aged skin.

PMID:
29577247
DOI:
10.1111/bjd.16591

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