A reduction in the ratio of lipid and protein bands in the stratum cornuem has been linked to skin barrier impairment in patients with atopic eczema. Researchers M. Janssens, et al, of Leiden University Medical Center, Leiden, the Netherlands and RiverD International, performed a case-control study comparing lesional and non-lesional atopic eczematous skin with the skin of healthy controls. Raman spectroscopy was used to determine the ratio between lipid and protein. Skin barrier function was assessed by transepidermal water loss.
The results of the study, which were published in the British Journal of Dermatology (June 2014), showed a reduction in the lipid/protein ratio of the stratum corneum of subjects with lesional and non-lesional atopic eczema when compared with controls. Furthermore, the reduction in ratio correlated strongly with skin barrier function and disease severity, leading the author’s to conclude, “The lipid/protein ratio plays a role in the reduced skin barrier function in AE.”
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