Multiple parameter assessment of vulvar irritant contact dermatitis

Contact Dermatitis. 1990 Jul;23(1):20-6. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0536.1990.tb00078.x.


Transepidermal water loss (TEWL), capacitance, pH, blood flow and color reflectance were evaluated for quantifying the irritant response of vulvar and forearm skin to 3% sodium lauryl sulfate in 9 healthy premenopausal women. TEWL, capacitance, pH, blood flow, and all parameters of color reflectance changed significantly in forearm irritant dermatitis. In vulvar irritant dermatitis, however, significant changes were observed only for blood flow and the color reflectance parameters a* and b*. Using the combination of TEWL, capacitance and blood flow, forearm irritant dermatitis was detected with a sensitivity of 84% and a specificity of 100%. In this study, the best combination of parameters to detect vulvar irritant dermatitis was pH, blood flow, a* and b*, which had a sensitivity of 78% and a specificity of 75%. It is concluded that available bioengineering techniques are less suitable to quantify irritant dermatitis in the vulva than in the forearm.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Dermatitis, Contact / diagnosis*
  • Dermatitis, Contact / etiology
  • Electric Conductivity
  • Female
  • Forearm
  • Humans
  • Hydrogen-Ion Concentration
  • Irritants*
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Skin / blood supply
  • Skin / drug effects*
  • Skin Tests / methods
  • Sodium Dodecyl Sulfate / adverse effects*
  • Vulva*
  • Water Loss, Insensible / drug effects*


  • Irritants
  • Sodium Dodecyl Sulfate