A Dermatological View--Moisturizer Efficacy: Evidence on Preventing and Treating Irritant Dermatitis

Moisturizers are used as prevention and treatment of surfactant and irritant dermatitis. Occlusives, humectants and hydrocolloids can be used to improve the function of the skin water barrier by increasing the moisture content.

Moisturizer efficacy remains unresolved. This evidence-based overview attempts to place the conflicting literature sources into a clinical and product development perspective.

Material and Methods
As an update to a previous overview by Zhai and Maibach, publications from 1992 to 2006 were reviewed quantitatively to examine moisturizer effectiveness. Pub Med from 1992 to 2006, Science Citation Index from 1992 to 2006, and Embasea from 1992 to 2006 were searched on these terms: moisturizer, irritant dermatitis, prevention and treatment.

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