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Modulation Of Human Stratum Corneum Properties By Salicylic Acid And All-trans-Retinoic Acid

C. Piérard‐franchimont, V. Goffin, G. Piérard
Published 1998 · Medicine, Chemistry

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Topical all-trans-retinoic acid (RA) has been reported to decrease the in vivo skin response to sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS). The converse was also shown with a synergistic effect of RA following prior applications of SLS. The reason for such effects is not clear. We employed measures of transepidermal water loss (TEWL), squamometry and sequential corneosurfametry to explore the protective activity of a 0.05% RA cream at the level of the stratum corneum. Nonionic oil-in-water emulsions with or without 5% salicylic acid (SA) served as test product references. Data indicated that the RA formulation was responsible for a stochastic impairment in the TEWL and for an increased intercorneocyte cohesion. SA and the unmedicated emulsion did not lead to similar TEWL changes. The squamometry test proved to be very sensitive to disclose the effects of SA and RA without, however, allowing to distinguish the difference in the physiological processes involved. The corneosurfametry bioassay did not show any protection or synergistic effect between RA or SA and SLS challenge on the stratum corneum. This is in contrast to a previous work showing a positive protective effect afforded by retinol against SLS. The combined effects of irritant compounds affecting the stratum corneum are complex. The precise reason for some of their biological consequences remains a conundrum. On balance, products such as SA and RA do not appear to afford protection or impairment to a surfactant challenge at the level of the stratum corneum.
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