, Volume 277, Issue 6, pp 489-495

A noninvasive, in vivo technique to quantitatively measure water concentration of the stratum corneum using attenuated total-reflectance infrared spectroscopy

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In order to noninvasively measure water concentration in the stratum corneum, infrared spectra were obtained using an attenuated total-reflectance technique in conjunction with Fourier transform spectroscopy. A weak water-absorbance band near 2,100 cm-1 was detected in both in vivo and in vitro spectra. The significance of this band is that it occurs in a region of the mid-infrared where the stratum corneum and most topically applied substances show no absorbance. In vitro spectra obtained as a function of ambient relative humidity showed an increase in the absorbance near 2,100 cm-1 with increasing water concentration in the stratum corneum. The combined in vivo and in vitro results lead to a quantitative assessment of water concentration in the uppermost layers of the stratum corneum.