The moisture protection properties provided by barrier creams

Sarah Jackson, MPharmSci1, Jodie Lovett, MEng1, Andrew Marxen, BAN, RN, CWON, CWS MBA2 and Christian Stephenson, BSc1, (1)Research and Development, Crawford Healthcare, Knutsford, United Kingdom, (2)Crawford Healthcare, Doylestown, PA
Zinc oxide barrier creams are widely used to prevent and heal skin irritation. Traditional zinc oxide creams can be messy to use, with thick layer of cream required in order to provide protection to the skin. Recently, spray-on products have been developed, where much less is needed to provide skin protection.

The aim of this experiment was to assess the protection against moisture provided by a zinc oxide spray vs a tubed product.

Three 1”x2” areas were marked on the inner arm of three volunteers. These were labelled A, B and control. A skin moisture meter was used to assess the hydration of the skin in each area for 10 replicates. 0.01oz of each of the products was applied to areas A and B. The control area was left untreated, with no cream applied. The products were left in place for one hour, then a towel soaked with water applied to the arm for 30 minutes. This was re-soaked every 5 minutes to simulate a moisture challenge. After 30 minutes, the hydration of the skin in each area was reassessed.

The hydration of the skin under each of the barrier creams was compared to the hydration at the control area. This was used to calculate a percentage effectiveness for each of the barrier products.

It was found that the spray product offered improvements of 50%, 55% and 62% in moisture protection over the control area on each volunteer respectively, with a small variation in efficacy between patients. The tubed product provided a much wider variation in protection, showing improvements of 15%, 3% and 30% on volunteers 1, 2 and 3.

This study has shown that the efficacy of barrier products displays variation between volunteers. With a vast number of options on the market, this highlights the importance of product selection.