Humectants, emulsifiers and commercially available moisturizers have been found to influence the barrier function in normal skin. In damaged skin, topically applied substances can both accelerate and retard normalization of the barrier function to water. Furthermore, skin susceptibility to irritants is influenced by certian moisturizers, which clearly indicates that ingredietns are not as inert to the skin as previously considered. This opens up new possibilities to treat more efficiently various skin abnormalities and different body areas, and to understand various requirements among consumers. (See Figure 1.) A normalization of a defect barrier function has also been suggested to prevent persistent dermatitis by mitigation of the cytokine cascade, as shown in Figure 2.1 The intent of this review is to present literature on function in normal and in dry skin. The information will hopefully facilitate the development of new moisturizers tailored for different types of skin abnormalities.
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