Development and preliminary testing of a standardized method for quantifying excess water in over-hydrated skin using evaporimetry
Although evaporimetry (the measurement of water vapour flux density from the skin) has often been used to study the impact on skin hydration of using products such as baby diapers and incontinence pads, it is difficult to interpret results and to compare data from different studies because of the diversity of unvalidated methodologies used. The aim of this work was to develop a robust methodology for measuring the excess water in over-hydrated skin and test it on volar forearm and hip skin which had been occluded with saline soaked patches. Three repeat measurements were made on the volar forearm and the hip of five young (31-44 years) and six older (67-85 years) women and moderately good within-subject repeatability was found for both skin sites for both subject groups. Measurements taken from the hip were significantly higher (P = 0.001) than those from the arm and had larger coefficients of variation (3.5-22.1%) compared to arms (3.0-14.0%). There were no significant differences between young and older skin, implying that women for future studies could be recruited without regard to age. This is the first time that a robust evaporimetric methodology for quantifying excess water in over-hydrated skin has been described and validated, and it will form a solid basis for future work.
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