A moisturizer formulated with glycerol and propylene glycol accelerates the recovery of skin barrier function after experimental disruption in dogs

Vet Dermatol. 2020 Oct;31(5):344-e89. doi: 10.1111/vde.12859. Epub 2020 Jul 6.


Background: Moisturizers are foundational therapies for human atopic dermatitis. In veterinary medicine, the use of moisturizers has been recommended by an expert committee to alleviate skin dryness that would occur, for example, in canine atopic dermatitis (cAD). However, little is known regarding the effects of moisturizers on the skin barrier.

Hypothesis/objectives: To investigate the effects of a moisturizer on skin barrier recovery in a canine model of chronic mechanical barrier disruption.

Animals: Six healthy beagle dogs maintained in a laboratory setting.

Methods and materials: A model of chronic skin barrier disruption was simulated by tape stripping on both sides of the thorax. The moisturizer then was applied twice daily for one week to one side of the thorax, while the other hemithorax was left untreated. The effects were evaluated by measurement of transepidermal water loss (TEWL) at various times during skin barrier recovery, and by histological assessment of the disrupted skin one week after moisturizer application.

Results: Overall, TEWL was reduced, epidermal thickness was lower, stratum corneum thickness was greater and the intensity of the dermal inflammatory infiltrate was reduced for treated sites.

Conclusions and clinical importance: These results suggest a potential benefit of the moisturizer for improving skin barrier function, which is frequently altered in chronic inflammatory dermatoses such as cAD.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Dogs
  • Epidermis
  • Glycerol*
  • Propylene Glycols
  • Skin
  • Water Loss, Insensible*


  • Propylene Glycols
  • Glycerol