Atopic dry skin: Soma et al. have studied the moisturizing effects of topical nicotinamide on atopic dry skin.1 Certain moisturizers can improve skin barrier function in atopic dermatitis. The effect of topical nicotinamide on atopic dry skin is unknown.
Soma et al. examined the effect of topical nicotinamide on atopic dry skin and compared the results with the effect of white petrolatum in a left-right comparison study. Twenty-eight patients were enrolled. They had atopic dermatitis with lesions of dry skin on both forearms. The patients were instructed to apply nicotinamide cream containing 2% nicotinamide on the left forearm and white petrolatum on the right forearm, twice daily over a four-week or eight-week treatment period.
Transepidermal water loss (TEWL) and stratum corneum (SC) hydration were measured by instrumental devices. The amount of the SC exfoliated by tape stripping (desquamation index) was determined by an image analyzer. Nicotinamide signifi cantly decreased TEWL, but white petrolatum did not show any signifi cant effect. Both nicotinamide and white petrolatum increased SC hydration, but nicotinamide was signifi cantly more effective than white petrolatum. The desquamation index was correlated positively with stratum corneum hydration at baseline and gradually increased in the nicotinamide group, but not in the white petrolatum group.