The effect of aqueous cream BP on the skin barrier in volunteers with a previous history of atopic dermatitis

Aqueous cream BP is frequently used in treatment for skin disorders especially atopic dermatitis (AD), even though it is associated with a high rate of adverse skin reactions. It also contains sodium lauryl sulphate which is a surfactant known for its negative impact on the environment as well as being associated with the exacerbation of AD.

To determine the effect of aqueous cream BP on statum corneum integrity and skin barrier function, 13 volunteers with a previous history of AD (no symptoms for six months) applied the cream to one forearm for 4 weeks, leaving the other forearm untreated as a control.

Permeability barrier function and stratum corneum integrity were determined before and after, and for comparison, 13 volunteers with AD were measured for these at unaffected sites. They were not treated.

It was determined that topical application of aqueous cream BP resulted in increased water loss through the skin with a decrease in stratum corneum integrity. Comparison with the volunteers with AD suggests that the cream negatively affects the skin barrier, influencing damage associated with the onset of flares of AD.

The researchers concluded that aqueous cream BP should not be used as a leave-on emollient in patients with AD.

Source: British Journal of Dermatology

August 2011

Click here for more miscellaneous research on skin conditions