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Rivista di Dermatologia e Malattie Sessualmente Trasmesse

Official Journal of the Italian Society of Dermatology and Sexually Transmitted Diseases
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Giornale Italiano di Dermatologia e Venereologia 2015 December;150(6):687-92

lingua: Inglese

The skin barrier function: differences between intrinsic and extrinsic aging

Trojahn C., Dobos G., Blume-Peytavi U., Kottner J.

Clinical Research Center for Hair and Skin Science, Department of Dermatology and Allergy, Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Berlin, Germany


AIM: Transepidermal water loss (TEWL), stratum corneum hydration (SCH), and the skin surface pH are important parameters to characterize the skin barrier function. The aim of this exploratory study was to compare TEWL, SCH and skin surface-pH on sun-protected versus sun-exposed skin areas in relation to age.
METHODS: Twenty four female subjects with healthy skin were recruited in three age groups. Lifetime sun exposure was assessed using a questionnaire. TEWL, SCH, and skin surface pH were measured on the right upper inner arm, right mid-volar forearm and right dorsal forearm under standardized conditions.
RESULTS: Mean ages (SD) of the three age groups were 33.5 (2.1), 55.4 (2.7), and 76.6 (1.9) years. There were no TEWL differences between the age groups on either skin area. Significantly lower TEWL values were observed on the dorsal forearm compared to the other skin areas (P<0.05). Mean SCH was comparable between the age groups. Higher SCH values were measured on the volar forearm (P<0.05). Skin surface pH on the upper inner arm was significantly higher in the aged group (P=0.023). The dorsal forearm skin had a lower pH than the upper inner arm.
CONCLUSION: There seem to be minor changes of TEWL and SCH, but a clear increase of skin surface pH during the course of life. Differences between intrinsically and extrinsically aged skin areas were observed, but results provide no clear evidence for an impairment of the skin barrier function due to photodamage.

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