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Investigating Skin Barrier Function Utilizing Reflectance NIR Spectroscopy

M. Qassem, P. Kyriacou
Published 2014 · Computer Science, Medicine

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Near Infrared Spectroscopy is seen as a potentially valuable technique for skin analysis, and has been employed by many previous studies to measure skin hydration, since it is competent of providing information regarding various functional groups including OH, CH and NH bands. The aim of this study was to investigate the capability of further utilizing this method by attempting to analyze skin barrier function as well as water content, through the evaluation of skin water uptake on two test sites, one untreated, and another treated with a high lipid moisturizer for a period of 7 days. Reflectance NIRS measurements were supported by capacitance readings obtained using the Corneometer® CM 825. Baseline recordings taken on the first day following treatment showed that more differences were observed between the treated and untreated sites in the regions belonging to, or are influenced by CH and NH groups rather than purely on the water bands. On the hand, moisture levels measured after placing a wet patch on the skin remained nearly equal for both sites but second derivative spectra showed that a clear contrast existed between absorbance heights at the water bands of the treated and untreated, suggesting that moisturizer use could have limited water uptake to a more superficial layer of the skin, whereas for the untreated site, the opposite would have been true and water was able to penetrate deeper. Overall, results here suggest that NIR spectroscopy can possibly provide valuable information not only on skin water contents but perhaps on other skin parameters such as barrier function.
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