Assessment of 'dry skin': Current bioengineering methods and test designs

Tobias W. Fischer*, Walter Wigger-Alberti, Peter Elsner

*Corresponding author for this work
45 Citations (Scopus)


Dry skin is a frequent problem in dermatology and a sign of dysfunction of the epidermis, especially of the stratum corneum as the morphological equivalent of the skin barrier. It may occur as an individual disposition or as the leading symptom of atopic dermatitis or ichthyosis. Besides the visual examination of the skin, various bioengineering methods have been developed to assess the different pathological and adaptive changes in the skin. In addition to the assessment of skin humidity, barrier function and desquamation, the quantification of skin surface topography and the mechanical properties of skin are suitable methods to characterize a dry skin condition. For clinical assessment of moisturizing products and emollients the parameters of investigation have to be defined and integrated in an adapted study design depending on the composition and content of the active agent in the test product. Newly developed cosmetic products have to be investigated for safety and efficacy. Modern bioengineering methods are suitable to fulfill these challenges.

Original languageEnglish
JournalSkin Pharmacology and Applied Skin Physiology
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)183-195
Number of pages13
Publication statusPublished - 2001


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