One approach to the prevention of schistosomiasis is the use of topical formulations to inhibit cercarial penetration of skin. A number of formulations containing either cercaricidal ingredients or components designed to inhibit penetration have been studied, but with variable results. Such studies have rarely considered the persistence of inhibitory effects through time, and to date, there have been no systematic investigations of barrier formulations. The aim of this study was to use Franz cells to investigate the effect of such barrier creams on the penetration of S. mansoni cercariae into human skin. The results show that a single application of a barrier cream based on dimethicone offers a high level of protection against penetration that is sustained for at least 48 hr.