Dry skin conditions are related to the recovery rate of skin temperature after cold stress rather than to blood flow

Int J Dermatol. 2017 Feb;56(2):176-183. doi: 10.1111/ijd.13436. Epub 2016 Dec 4.


Background: Cutaneous blood flow plays an important role in the thermoregulation, oxygen supply, and nutritional support necessary to maintain the skin. However, there is little evidence for a link between blood flow and skin physiology. Therefore, we conducted surveys of healthy volunteers to determine the relationship(s) between dry skin properties and cutaneous vascular function.

Methods: Water content of the stratum corneum, transepidermal water loss, and visual dryness score were investigated as dry skin parameters. Cutaneous blood flow in the resting state, the recovery rate (RR) of skin temperature on the hand after a cold-stress test, and the responsiveness of facial skin blood flow to local cooling were examined as indices of cutaneous vascular functions. The relationships between dry skin parameters and cutaneous vascular functions were assessed.

Results: The RR correlated negatively with the visual dryness score of skin on the leg but correlated positively with water content of the stratum corneum on the arm. No significant correlation between the resting state of blood flow and dry skin parameters was observed. In both the face and the body, deterioration in skin dryness from summer to winter was significant in subjects with low RR. The RR correlated well with the responsiveness of facial skin blood flow to local cooling, indicating that the RR affects systemic dry skin conditions.

Conclusions: These results suggest that the RR but not blood flow at the resting state is associated with dry skin conditions and is involved in skin homeostasis during seasonal environmental changes.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Arm
  • Body Temperature Regulation
  • Cheek
  • Cold Temperature
  • Electric Capacitance
  • Female
  • Homeostasis / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Leg
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Regional Blood Flow
  • Seasons
  • Skin / blood supply
  • Skin / chemistry*
  • Skin Temperature / physiology*
  • Stress, Physiological*
  • Water / analysis*
  • Water Loss, Insensible
  • Young Adult


  • Water