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Contact Dermatitis. 1995 Feb;32(2):83-7.

Effects of water temperature on surfactant-induced skin irritation.

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


Surfactant-induced irritant reactions may be elicited by several endogenous and exogenous factors. Among these, surfactant concentration, and duration and frequency of exposure play important rĂ´les. The study focuses on the influence of water temperature in determining damage of the skin barrier. 10 subjects of both sexes entered the study. 4 areas (4 x 4 cm2) were randomly selected on the volar forearm and were treated with a daily open application of 5% sodium lauryl sulphate for 4 days. The solutions were at 3 temperatures: 4 degrees, 20 degrees and 40 degrees C. One site served as untreated control. On the 5th day, skin irritation was evaluated using transepidermal water loss (TEWL) measurements, erythema (a* value), skin reflectance (L* value), hydration (capacitance) and desquamation (stripping). The results show a significant effect of the solution's temperature in determining skin irritation (P < 0.001). Skin damage was higher in sites treated with warmer temperatures and a highly significant correlation (P < 0.001) between irritation and temperature was found. In conclusion, the study shows that water temperature during washing has an important effect on the onset of irritant contact dermatitis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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