Archives of Dermatological Research

, Volume 306, Issue 7, pp 591–599

Skin barrier function in infancy: a systematic review

  • Laine Ludriksone
  • Natalie Garcia Bartels
  • Varvara Kanti
  • Ulrike Blume-Peytavi
  • Jan Kottner
Review

DOI: 10.1007/s00403-014-1458-6

Cite this article as:
Ludriksone, L., Garcia Bartels, N., Kanti, V. et al. Arch Dermatol Res (2014) 306: 591. doi:10.1007/s00403-014-1458-6

Abstract

The skin of neonates and infants exhibits distinct anatomical and functional properties that might be clinically reflected by its characteristic susceptibility to skin barrier disruption. In this systematic review, we aimed to characterize skin barrier maturation as reflected by transepidermal water loss (TEWL) and skin surface pH during the first 2 years of life. We systematically searched MEDLINE and EMBASE via OVID from 1975 to 2013 to identify primary studies reporting TEWL and/or skin surface pH values in healthy full-term infants aged 0–24 months without any cutaneous diseases. After full text assessment, 36 studies reporting n = 8,483 TEWL measurements for 26 anatomical areas and n = 6,437 skin surface pH measurements for 14 anatomical areas were included. The mean age of the subjects ranged from 1.4 h to 1.2 years. The lowest pH of 4.63 was identified on the forehead at the age of 25.6 weeks, whereas the highest of 7.31 was on the volar forearm at 0.0 weeks. The lowest TEWL value of 3.1 g/m2/h was reported for the back at 0.6 weeks and the highest of 43.1 g/m2/h for the upper leg at 58.7 weeks. The skin surface pH reveals a steep decline during the first postnatal week, succeeded by a further gradual site-specific acidification process during the first month. A competent permeability barrier in most anatomical areas is indicated by TEWL, which does not exhibit a time-dependent development during the first 2 years of life.

Keywords

Skin barrierTEWLSkin surface pHNewbornsInfantsStratum corneum maturation

Supplementary material

403_2014_1458_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (148 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (PDF 147 kb)
403_2014_1458_MOESM2_ESM.pdf (338 kb)
Supplementary material 2 (PDF 337 kb)
403_2014_1458_MOESM3_ESM.pdf (214 kb)
Supplementary material 3 (PDF 213 kb)
403_2014_1458_MOESM4_ESM.pdf (194 kb)
Supplementary material 4 (PDF 194 kb)

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Laine Ludriksone
    • 1
  • Natalie Garcia Bartels
    • 1
  • Varvara Kanti
    • 1
  • Ulrike Blume-Peytavi
    • 1
  • Jan Kottner
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Dermatology and Allergy, Clinical Research Center for Hair and Skin ScienceCharité-Universitätsmedizin BerlinBerlinGermany