Moisturizers for the Treatment of Inflammatory Skin Conditions

November 2008 | Volume 7 | Issue 11 | Original Article | 1038 | Copyright © November 2008

Charles Lynde MD

Abstract
The maintenance of normal hydration is an important function of the skin. The stratum corneum provides an antimicrobial, antioxidant, and UV barrier and plays an integral role in maintaining skin hydration. Environmental factors and disease states may compromise the barrier function of the stratum corneum, leading to excessively dry skin. Evidence supports the use of moisturizers in the treatment of various skin conditions, and a wide variety of these products are currently available. The presence of moisturizing agents in a compound, however, may not guarantee optimal moisturization effects. Pharmacologic and physiologic (eg, concentration, bioavailability, proper determination of moisturization effects), as well as patient-based considerations, can potentially influence the effects of moisturizer ingredients. While moisturizers as adjunctive therapy have proven benefits in enhancing the management of certain dermatologic conditions, the incorporation of moisturizing ingredients into topical treatments may not translate into clinical benefit, particularly in enhancing skin barrier function.