Abstract Title:

The effect of washing and drying practices on skin barrier function.

Abstract Source:

J Wound Ostomy Continence Nurs. 2008 Jan-Feb;35(1):84-90. PMID: 18199943

Abstract Author(s):

David Voegeli

Article Affiliation:

Continence Technology&Skin Health Group, School of Nursing&Midwifery, University of Southampton, UK. D.Voegeli@soton.ac.uk

Abstract:

PURPOSE: The aim of this study was to explore the potential contribution to skin damage caused by standard washing and drying techniques used in nursing. DESIGN: An experimental cohort design was used, with healthy volunteers (n = 15) receiving 6 different washing and drying techniques to the volar aspect of the forearm. Subjects underwent 3 washing and drying techniques on each arm; each technique was repeated twice, separated by a 2-hour rest period. METHODS: Skin integrity was assessed by measuring transepidermal water loss (TEWL), skin hydration, skin pH, and erythema. Comparisons were made between washing with soap or water alone, and drying using a towel (rubbing and patting) or evaporation. The significance of any difference was assessed by nonparametric analysis. The study was approved by the local research ethics committee, and all volunteers gave informed consent. RESULTS: TEWL was seen to increase following each type of wash, and increased further following repeated washing. Drying of the skin by patting with a towel increased TEWL to give readings identical to those obtained from wet skin. There was an increase in skin pH with all washing and drying techniques, particularly when soap was used. Erythema also increased with repeated washing, particularly when soap was used. No significant changes were observed in skin hydration as measured by a corneometer, although there was a tendency for the values to decrease with washing. CONCLUSIONS: These data suggest that washing with soap and water and towel drying has a significant disrupting effect on the skin's barrier function. There is tentative evidence to suggest that a cumulative effect may exist with damage increasing as washing frequency increases. Drying the skin by patting with a towel offers no advantage to conventional gentle rubbing as it leaves the skin significantly wetter and at greater risk of frictional damage.

Study Type : Human Study
Additional Links

Print Options


Key Research Topics

Sayer Ji
Founder of GreenMedInfo.com

Subscribe to our informative Newsletter & get Nature's Evidence-Based Pharmacy

Our newsletter serves 500,000 with essential news, research & healthy tips, daily.

Download Now

500+ pages of Natural Medicine Alternatives and Information.

This website is for information purposes only. By providing the information contained herein we are not diagnosing, treating, curing, mitigating, or preventing any type of disease or medical condition. Before beginning any type of natural, integrative or conventional treatment regimen, it is advisable to seek the advice of a licensed healthcare professional.

© Copyright 2008-2020 GreenMedInfo.com, Journal Articles copyright of original owners, MeSH copyright NLM.