Decreased hydration state of the stratum corneum and reduced amino acid content of the skin surface in patients with seasonal allergic rhinitis.
Br J Dermatol. 1998 Oct;139(4):618-21. PMID: 9892905
Department of Dermatology, Tohoku University School of Medicine, Aobaku Seiryo-machi 1-1, Sendai 980-77, Japan.
Recent studies of the stratum corneum (SC) in patients with atopic dermatitis (AD) have disclosed various functional impairments even in clinically unaffected skin. However, it has not been clear whether the presence of atopic background itself has any influence on the function of the SC. In this study, we conducted functional studies of the SC in the mid-portion of the flexor surface of the forearm of 49 skin lesion-free patients with allergic rhinitis to Japanese cedar pollen (atopic respiratory disease; ARD) in early spring, their disease-active season, by comparing the findings obtained with those in 28 patients with AD and 57 age-matched healthy control subjects. The results showed that the patients with ARD had significantly lower skin surface hydration levels assessed by high-frequency conductometry than those of the healthy control subjects. These levels were, however, not as low as those noted in moderately or severely affected patients with AD. Moreover, by measuring the amounts of water-soluble amino acids contained in the superficial portions of the SC, we found that these are also decreased at a marginal level (P = 0.051) in patients with ARD compared with levels in healthy control subjects. In contrast, the water barrier function of the SC evaluated by measurements of transepidermal water loss in patients with ARD was not different from that of the healthy control subjects. These results suggest that, although their skin appears normal clinically, the SC of the patients with ARD has functional deficiency in water-holding capacity.