Conference Contribution Details


Bob Imhof, Perry Xiao, Christos Bontozoglou & Jonathan Crowther.
Invited Lecture, TRI Course: Advances in Skin Science, Measurement & Treatment, Princeton NJ, 2016.



Stratum corneum (SC) hydration is an important property associated with skin health. But whilst the symptoms of dry skin are easily recognised, the reliable measurement of SC hydration remains a challenge. This is partly because the SC itself is physically and chemically heterogeneous, partly because other properties such as scaling swelling and water binding change with hydration, partly because external and internal factors affect hydration and partly because hydration varies from person to person, site to site and time to time. In addition, any single-parameter description of SC hydration is bound to be inadequate, given the fact that it is wet on the inside and dry on the outside.

The talk will review the field of in vivo SC hydration measurement from a physicist’s perspective. Approaches to SC hydration measurement can be classified into two broad groups: optical and electrical. Optical techniques include confocal Raman spectroscopy, photo-acoustic, photo-thermal, ATR-FTIR and near-infrared diffuse reflectance. Electrical techniques include conductance, capacitance, impedance and magnetic resonance. The main focus will be on the commonly used conductance and capacitance devices: what’s new, what they measure and what, apart from hydration, affects their readings.


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