Impaired water barrier function in acne vulgaris
In acne vulgaris, abnormal follicular keratinization is important for comedo formation, yet the precise mechanisms of comedogenesis are not known. The present study examined the interrelationship between sebum secretion rate (SSR), lipid content and water barrier function (WBF) of the stratum corneum (SC) in 36 acne patients and 29 control subjects. All major SC lipid classes were separated and qantified by thin-layer chromatography/photodensitometry. WBF was evaluated by measuring transepidermal water loss (TEWL), and the hygroscopic properties and water-holding capacity of the SC. The SSR over a period of 3 h was significantly higher in patients with moderate acne than in control subjects, but no significant difference was noticed between patients with mild acne and control subjects. Significant differences between patients with both moderate and mild acne and control subjects were noted in the amount of sphingolipids (ceramides and free sphingosine), but not for any other lipid classes. Furthermore in acne patients, lower amounts of sphingolipids were observed corresponding with a diminished WBF. These results suggest that an impaired WBF caused by decreased amounts of ceramides may be responsible for comedo formation, since barrier dysfunction is accompanied by hyperkeratosis of the follicular epithelium.
Key wordsWater barrier function Acne vulgaris Ceramides Sphingosine Sebum secretion rate
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.
- 3.Deffond D, Saint-Leger D, Leveque JL, Agache P (1986) in vivo measurement of epidermal lipids in man. Bioeng Skin 2: 71–85Google Scholar
- 14.Nilson GE (1977) Measurement of water exchange through skin. Med Biol Eng 15: 209–218Google Scholar
- 15.Plewig G, Kligman AM (1975) Acne: morphogenesis and treatment. Springer, Berlin Heidelberg New YorkGoogle Scholar
- 16.Plewig G, Kligman AM (1993) Acne and rosacea, 2nd edn. Springer, Berlin Heidelberg New YorkGoogle Scholar
- 18.Serizawa S, Osawa K, Togashi K, Yamamoto A, Ito M, Hamanaka S, Otsuka F (1992) Relationship between cholesterol sulfate and intercellular cohesion of the stratum corneum: demonstration using a push-pull meter and an improved high-performance thin-layer Chromatographic separation system of all major stratum corneum lipids. J Invest Dermatol 99: 232–236PubMedGoogle Scholar