Benefits of mild cleansing: synthetic surfactant based (syndet) bars for patients with atopic dermatitis

Cutis. 2006 May;77(5):317-24.


Atopic dermatitis (AD) is a recurring inflammatory skin disease, characterized by marked pruritus, which usually develops in early childhood. AD is associated with a wide array of symptoms, including itching, dryness, erythema, crusted lesions, and superficial inflammation. Topical steroid cream or ointment with proper washing is a primary treatment approach for AD. Nonsoap-based personal washing or syndet bars containing synthetic detergents or surfactants are milder than soaps; thus, they are widely used by patients with a variety of skin conditions, including AD. The primary goals of this study were to determine the compatibility of syndet bar use with the therapy of AD and the potential benefits of syndet bars compared with subjects' usual cleansing products, mostly soap bars. In this evaluation, 50 subjects (14 subjects were aged < or =15 years) with mild AD on a stable treatment regimen were recruited and asked to use 1 of 2 syndet bars as part of their normal shower routine for 28 days. The severity of eczematous lesions, skin condition (dryness, erythema, texture), and hydration were evaluated at baseline and after 28 days of syndet application by investigators and subjects. Syndet bar use reduced the severity of eczematous lesions, improved skin condition, and maintained hydration. Overall, the results of this study indicate that syndet formulations are compatible with the therapy of AD.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Cutaneous
  • Adolescent
  • Baths
  • Dermatitis, Atopic / drug therapy*
  • Dermatitis, Atopic / pathology
  • Detergents / administration & dosage*
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Humans
  • Patient Satisfaction
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Skin Care*
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Detergents