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Noninvasive biophysical assessments of the efficacy of a moisturizing cosmetic cream base for patients with atopic dermatitis during different seasons

Authors

  • K. Kikuchi,

    1. Department of Dermatology, Tohoku University Graduate School of Medicine, 1-1 Seiryo-machi, Aoba-ku, Sendai 980-8574, Japan
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  • H. Tagami,

    1. Department of Dermatology, Tohoku University Graduate School of Medicine, 1-1 Seiryo-machi, Aoba-ku, Sendai 980-8574, Japan
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  • the Japanese Cosmetic Scientist Task Force for Skin Care of Atopic Dermatitis

    1. Department of Dermatology, Tohoku University Graduate School of Medicine, 1-1 Seiryo-machi, Aoba-ku, Sendai 980-8574, Japan
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  • Conflicts of interest
    None declared.

  • The members of the Japanese Cosmetic Scientist Task Force for Skin Care of Atopic Dermatitis are Y. Agawa, S. Akazaki, M. Ando, A. Hayashi, T. Hayashi, T. Hirao, T. Ishida, K. Ito, I. Kurimura, K. Matsumoto, F. Nozaki, T. Ozawa and M. Takahashi.

Katsuko Kikuchi.
E-mail: katsukon@mail.tains.tohoku.ac.jp

Summary

Background  The use of emollients is recommended for patients with atopic dermatitis (AD) to maintain improved condition.

Objectives  To ascertain objectively the effectiveness of a moisturizing cream for patients with AD during different seasons.

Methods  We conducted clinical evaluations, noninvasive biophysical measurements and biochemical analyses of the stratum corneum (SC) components of the volar forearm skin of 23 patients with AD after a moisturizer was applied twice daily for 4 weeks. The moisturizer was formulated according to the consensus of cosmetic scientists belonging to major Japanese cosmetic companies. The nontreated forearm served as a control.

Results  After using the moisturizer treatment, the hydration of the SC significantly increased together with a decrease in the desquamation measurements and an improvement in the regularity of skin surface corneocytes. An improvement was observed in the SC barrier function in winter, but was achieved only after 4 weeks in late spring during which time there even occurred exacerbation of skin conditions in three patients. With use of the moisturizer treatment, we found no change in the SC content of free amino acids or ceramides, the ratio of interleukin (IL)-1 receptor antagonist to IL-1α, the ratio of immature to mature cornified envelopes, the size of the corneocytes or the emergence of parakeratotic cells in the skin surface corneocytes.

Conclusion  Treatment with an adequate moisturizer is beneficial for the dry skin of patients with AD during the dry, cold season but it does not influence the impaired SC barrier function as effectively in the less arid season.

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