Dexpanthenol enhances skin barrier repair and reduces inflammation after sodium lauryl sulphate-induced irritation

J Dermatolog Treat. 2002 Dec;13(4):173-8. doi: 10.1080/09546630212345674.


Background: Dexpanthenol-containing creams have been widely used for treatment of lesions (superficial wounds) of the skin and mucous membranes. Dexpanthenol is converted in tissues to pantothenic acid, a component of coenzyme A. Coenzyme A catalyses early steps in the synthesis of fatty acids and sphingolipids which are of crucial importance for stratum corneum lipid bilayers and cell membrane integrity.

Aim: In the present study, the effects were examined of a dexpanthenol-containing cream on skin barrier repair, stratum corneum hydration, skin roughness, and inflammation after sodium lauryl sulphate (SLS)-induced irritation.

Methods: Irritation was induced by application of SLS in patch test chambers. The dexpanthenol-contaming cream or the vehicle were applied twice daily and barrier repair, hydration, roughness, and inflammation of the skin were determined by using biophysical methods.

Results: Significantly accelerated skin barrier repair was found in treatments with the dexpanthenol-containing cream (verum) compared with vehicle-treated (placebo) or untreated skin. Both verum and placebo showed an increase in stratum corneum hydration, but significantly more so with the dexpanthenol-containing cream. Both creams reduced skin roughness, but again the verum was superior. The dexpanthenol-containing cream significantly reduced skin redness as a sign of inflammation in contrast to the vehicle, which produced no effect.

Conclusion: Treatment with a dexpanthenol-containing cream showed significantly enhanced skin barrier repair and stratum corneum hydration, while reducing skin roughness and inflammation.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Dermatitis, Irritant / drug therapy*
  • Dermatitis, Irritant / etiology
  • Dermatitis, Irritant / pathology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pantothenic Acid / analogs & derivatives*
  • Pantothenic Acid / therapeutic use
  • Sodium Dodecyl Sulfate*
  • Surface-Active Agents*
  • Water Loss, Insensible
  • Wound Healing*
  • Young Adult


  • Surface-Active Agents
  • Pantothenic Acid
  • dexpanthenol
  • Sodium Dodecyl Sulfate