Effect of semipermeable membranes on skin barrier repair following tape stripping

Arch Dermatol Res. 2001 Nov;293(10):491-9. doi: 10.1007/pl00007463.


Reports in the literature suggest that the permeability of a wound dressing to water transport is an important variable in the healing of superficial wounds. Factors that influence skin hydration during barrier repair, therefore, are important in the optimization of wound treatments. In this study, the effects of semipermeable films on human skin following a standardized wound (tape stripping) were evaluated using measurements of transepidermal water loss (TEWL), skin hydration, rate of moisture accumulation, and erythema. Wounds treated with semipermeable films underwent more rapid barrier recovery than either unoccluded wounds or wounds under complete occlusion. Barrier films that produced intermediate levels of skin hydration during recovery produced the highest barrier repair rates. The results support the hypothesis; that semipermeable wound dressings augment barrier repair and skin quality by providing an optimized water vapor gradient during the wound healing process. The choice of wound dressing is discussed within the larger context of the design of vapor-permeable fabrics (smart materials) and the new fields of corneotherapy and comfort science.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Bandages*
  • Body Water / metabolism
  • Erythema / physiopathology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Membranes, Artificial*
  • Permeability
  • Skin / physiopathology*
  • Time Factors
  • Water Loss, Insensible
  • Wound Healing / physiology*


  • Membranes, Artificial