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Archives of Dermatological Research

, Volume 293, Issue 10, pp 491–499 | Cite as

Effect of semipermeable membranes on skin barrier repair following tape stripping

  • M. O. Visscher
  • S. B. Hoath
  • E. Conroy
  • R. R. Wickett
Original Paper

Abstract  Reports in the literature suggest that the permeability of a wound dressing to water transport is an important variable in the healing of superficial wounds. Factors that influence skin hydration during barrier repair, therefore, are important in the optimization of wound treatments. In this study, the effects of semipermeable films on human skin following a standardized wound (tape stripping) were evaluated using measurements of transepidermal water loss (TEWL), skin hydration, rate of moisture accumulation, and erythema. Wounds treated with semipermeable films underwent more rapid barrier recovery than either unoccluded wounds or wounds under complete occlusion. Barrier films that produced intermediate levels of skin hydration during recovery produced the highest barrier repair rates. The results support the hypothesis that semipermeable wound dressings augment barrier repair and skin quality by providing an optimized water vapor gradient during the wound healing process. The choice of wound dressing is discussed within the larger context of the design of vapor-permeable fabrics (smart materials) and the new fields of corneotherapy and comfort science.

Keywords Stratum corneum Barrier repair Semipermeable Transepidermal water loss Occlusion 

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. O. Visscher
    • 1
  • S. B. Hoath
    • 1
  • E. Conroy
    • 2
  • R. R. Wickett
    • 1
  1. 1.The Skin Sciences Institute, Children’s Hospital Research Foundation, The University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, Ohio, USA e-mail: visschmo@email.uc.edu, Tel.: +1-513-5580393, Fax: +1-513-5587770US
  2. 2.College of Pharmacy, Division of Pharmaceutical Sciences, The University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, Ohio, USAUS

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