Study Shows Skin Creams Can Cause Skin Dryness

According to a report on the Uppsala University Web site, many individuals have noticed that when they begin using a skin cream, they must continue using it because once they stop lubricating, the skin becomes drier than when they started. New research reportedly confirms for the first time that normal skin can become drier from the use of creams. Izabela Buraczewska presented these findings on Oct. 24, 2008, in a dissertation she is publicly defending at Uppsala University in Sweden.

The findings in Buraczewska's dissertation are said to confirm that creams can make the skin drier. Buraczewska has studied what happens in the skin at the molecular level and also what positive and negative effects creams have on the skin. Her research showed that differences in the pH of creams do not seem to play any role. Different oils were also studied in a seven-week treatment period, but no difference was established between mineral or vegetable oil. Both oils resulted in the skin being less able to cope with external stresses.

Treatment with a more complex cream compound, however, resulted in more resistant skin with no signs of dryness. Tissue samples taken from the treated skin areas also showed a weakening of the skin's protective barrier, which could be tied to changes in the activity of certain genes involved in producing skin fats, among other functions. The conclusion is that the contents of creams impact these effects on the skin.

This knowledge enhances the potential to develop creams that reinforce the skin's protective barrier in a positive way, without making the skin drier. Such creams would mean that various groups of patients with dry skin, for example eczema and ichthyosis, could enjoy a better quality of life. "My findings show that creams differ and that knowledge of the effect of various ingredients is important for us to be able to tailor the treatment to various skin types," said Izabela Buraczewska.

For more information, visit the university Web site

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