Berardesca E, Barbareschi M, Veraldi S, Pimpinelli N.
Department of Dermatology, University of Pavia, IRCCS Policlinico S. Matteo, Italy.
Disturbances of skin barrier function occur in several skin diseases, e.g., atopic dermatitis (AD), irritant/allergic contact dermatitis (ICD, ACD). Skin barrier damage triggers the production of cytokines that stimulate lipogenesis which may also cause inflammatory processes. The aim of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of a topical skin lipid mixture in the treatment of ICD, ACD and AD. 580 consecutive patients suffering from ICD, ACD or AD were treated with a skin lipid mixture containing ceramide-3 and patented nanoparticles. Patients received the lipid mixture alone or in combination with topical corticosteroids until clearance or for 8 weeks. Both treatment groups statistically improved all parameters considered at week 4 and 8 as compared to baseline. Between the 2 treatment groups, there was a statistically significant difference in favour of combined therapy for (ICD, ACD, AD, respectively): erythema, pruritus and overall disease severity; erythema and pruritus; erythema, pruritus, fissuring and overall disease severity. No statistically significant difference was found for (ICD, ACD, AD, respectively): dryness, scaling and fissuring; scaling, fissuring and overall disease severity; dryness and scaling. Between the 2 ACD treatment groups, there was a statistically significant difference in favour of the skin lipid mixture for dryness. In conclusion, the study shows that balanced lipid mixtures are effective in improving barrier properties and the clinical condition of the skin in contact dermatitis.