Content » Vol 66, Issue 4

The water content of the stratum corneum in patients with atopic dermatitis. Measurement with the Corneometer CM 420

Werner Y
DOI: 10.2340/0001555566281284


The dry looking skin seen in many patients with atopic dermatitis reflects a defect in the epidermal barrier, the stratum corneum, as demonstrated by an increased transepidermal water loss (TEWL) and a decreased ability of the stratum corneum to bind water. The absolute amount of water within the stratum corneum is of importance both for barrier properties and for the clinical appearance of the skin. This water content was measured with a new instrument, the Corneometer CM 420, which takes advantage of the high dielectric constant of water. Forty patients with atopic dermatitis were studied--20 with dry skin and 20 with clinically normal skin on non-eczematous areas. The stratum corneum in dry skin was found to have a lower content of water than that in the clinically normal skin (p less than 0.01). Clinically normal skin in patients with atopic dermatitis did not differ significantly from normal control skin. An experiment was performed in vitro in an attempt to correlate the values obtained with the Corneometer to the absolute amount of water within the corneum.


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