Skin hydration and transepidermal water loss measurements in assessment of eczema

Published: 19-Apr-2022

Scoring atopic dermatitis (SCORAD) scale is used to assess the severity of eczema but studies have shown that also assessments of skin hydration and transepidermal water loss correlate well with the severity of eczema and impairments in quality of life

Eczema is a common skin condition resulting in dermatitis, pruritus, itching, dryness of skin and impaired quality of life. Sometimes at its worst, eczema can be very uncomfortable especially for children.

Hon et al. (2020) studied whether age, sex and disease status influence skin hydration (SH) and transepidermal water loss (TEWL) in children with or without eczema. The study consisted total of 252 children participants of whom 132 had mild to severe eczema and 120 served as healthy controls. The measurements of SH and TEWL were performed with MoistureMeterSC and VapoMeter respectively. Eczema status was evaluated using SCORAD scale and Nottingham Eczema Severity Score (NESS). The level of SH was lower in patients with eczema than in patients without eczema, regardless of age and sex. Both SH and TEWL correlated with eczema severity.

Previously, SH and TEWL have been used to assess adulthood eczema. Hon et al. (2020) were able to contribute to previous findings that SH and TEWL are also important for assessment of childhood eczema. Hon et al. (2020) concluded that SH can be used to distinguish clinical differences in eczema based on age, sex, and disease status.

Hon et al. (2021) also had similar results in a study aimed to compare skin measurements and their correlations with various clinical atopic dermatitis (AD) severity scores. They confirmed that the measurement of SH by Delfin correlates with a number of clinical signs.

The MoistureMeterSC measures skin surface hydration at stratum corneum and the VapoMeter measures transepidermal water loss (TEWL).

VapoMeter: Medical device class IIa (EU)


Hon, K. L. et al. 2020. “Age, Sex, and Disease Status as Determinants of Skin Hydration and Transepidermal Water Loss among Children with and without Eczema.” Hong Kong Medical Journal 26(1): 19–26.

Hon, Kam Lun et al. 2021. “Are Skin Equipment for Assessing Childhood Eczema Any Good?” Journal of Dermatological Treatment 32(1): 45–48.

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