Water, salts and skin barrier of normal skin

Skin Res Technol. 2003 Feb;9(1):31-3. doi: 10.1034/j.1600-0846.2003.00346.x.


Background: We recently reported that open application of seawater for 20 min ameliorated experimental irritant contact dermatitis induced by sodium lauryl sulphate (SLS) cumulative irritation. The efficacy was overall contributed by 500 mm of sodium chloride (NaCI) and 10 mm of potassium chloride (KCl), which are consistent with the each concentration in seawater. Although the usefulness of mineral water with 500 mm NaCl and 10 mm KCl to treat atopic dermatitis (AD) or irritated skin was considered, seawater or its components would induce a feel of stinging in patients with AD. Furthermore, 20 min application was thought to be too long to use everyday as a treatment.

Objective: We report the effects of 3 types of mineral water with NaCl and KCl to check the further efficacy with lesser stinging by 2 min application.

Results: A mineral water with 250 mm NaCl and 50 mm KCl was the most effective water to prevent disruption of skin barrier and stratum corneum water content after cumulating irritation by SLS. Moreover, improvement of skin dryness and pruritus were shown 2 weeks after the application of the mineral water to a 6-year-old boy with atopic dermatitis.

Conclusion: Our results suggested the possible usefulness of the mineral water with 250 mm NaCl and 50 mm KCl as the therapy of atopic dermatitis of other chronic dermatitis. Although the mineral water would not cure those skin diseases, it could be an adjunctive therapy. Further controlled clinical trials with evaluation by TEWL and capacitance are required to declare the efficacy of the mineral water in the treatment of patients with AD or other chronic dermatitis.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Child
  • Dermatitis, Atopic / drug therapy*
  • Dermatitis, Atopic / metabolism*
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Drug Administration Schedule
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mineral Waters / therapeutic use*
  • Osmolar Concentration
  • Permeability / drug effects
  • Potassium Chloride / administration & dosage*
  • Skin / metabolism*
  • Sodium Chloride / administration & dosage*
  • Water Loss, Insensible / drug effects


  • Mineral Waters
  • Sodium Chloride
  • Potassium Chloride