Skin Hydration

  • Howard Maibach
Living reference work entry


Techniques to characterize the barrier function of the skin include a number of noninvasive methods to measure moisture content and loss through the skin surface. One of these measurements is the determination of skin hydration using a method known as corneometry (Bilchmann and Serup 1988). This technique determines the capacitance of the skin due to its behavior as a dielectric medium and assesses a 10–20-μm thickness of the stratum corneum. The method has been compared with other techniques (Van Neste 1991; Fluhr et al. 2001) and applied to evaluate dermatological and cosmetic products in human volunteers (Zuang et al. 1997; Singh et al. 2001; Yilmaz and Borchert 2006).


Stratum Corneum Barrier Function Skin Surface Human Volunteer Noninvasive Method 
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References and Further Reading

  1. Bilchmann CW, Serup J (1988) Assessment of skin moisture. Measurement of electric conductance, capacitance and transepidermal water loss. Acta Derm Venereol 68:284–290Google Scholar
  2. Fluhr JW, Kuss O, Diepgen T, Lazzerini S, Pelosi A, Gloor M, Berardesca E (2001) Testing for irritation with a multifactorial approach: comparison of eight non-invasive measuring techniques on five different irritation types. Br J Dermatol 145:696–703CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. Hester SL, Rees CA, Kennis RA, Zoran DL, Bigley KE, Wright AS, Kirby NA, Bauer JE (2004) Evaluation of corneometry (skin hydration) and transepidermal water loss. Measurements in two canine breeds. J Nutr 134:2110S–2113SPubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. Jensen JM, Schütze S, Neumann C, Proksch E (2000) Impaired cutaneous permeability barrier function, skin hydration, and sphingomyelinase activity in keratin 10 deficient mice. J Invest Dermatol 115:708–713CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. Kappes U, Schliemann-Willers S, Bankova L, Heinemann C, Fischer TW, Ziemer M, Schubert H, Norgauer J, Fluhr JM, Elsner P (2004) The quality of human xenografts on SCID mice: a noninvasive bioengineering approach. Br J Dermatol 151:971–976CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. Singh J, Gross M, Sage B, Davis HT, Maibach HI (2001) Regional variations in skin barrier function and cutaneous irritation due to iontophoresis in human subjects. Food Chem Toxicol 39:1079–1086CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. Van Neste D (1991) Comparative study of normal and rough human skin hydration in vivo: evaluation with four different instruments. J Dermatol Sci 2:119–124CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. Yilmaz E, Borchert HH (2006) Effect of lipid-containing, positively charged nanoemulsions on skin hydration, elasticity and erythema – an in vivo study. Int J Pharm 307:232–238CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  9. Zuang V, Rona C, Distante F, Barardesca E (1997) The use of a capacitance device to evaluate the hydration of human skin. J Appl Cosmetol 15:95–102Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of DermatologyUC San FranciscoSan FranciscoUSA

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