SUMMARY The relationship between clinical severity, the hydration state of the skin surface as assessed by a conductance with a 3.5 MHz high frequency impedance meter, and the amino acid content of the stratum corneum (SC) of six patients with ichthyosis vulgaris and 30 elderly persons with varying degrees of xerosis was investigated. With an increase in the severity of xerosis the SC showed a decrease in hydration and in its extractable amino acid content. There was a significant correlation between the hydration state and amino acid content of the SC. Although there was a significant correlation between the amino acid content of the lower leg SC and that of the forearm SC in the same subject, the former was generally lower, corresponding to the greater incidence of xerosis on the lower leg. These results suggest that a decreased amount of amino acids may be the result of low profilaggrin biosynthesis in the epidermis and that this is involved in the pathogenesis of these xerotic skin conditions. Clinical improvement of the xerosis following treatment with a urea‐containing cream was not accompanied by any significant change in the amino acid content of the SC.
British Journal of Dermatology – Wiley
Published: Nov 1, 1989
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