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Year : 1994  |  Volume : 60  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 15-17

Study of cutaneous insensible perspiration in different age-group

Correspondence Address:
R P Okhandiar

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Gradual diminition of cutaneous insensible perspiration is observed with advancement of age which becomes significant suggesting altered stratum corneum, in old age.

Keywords: Perspiration, Stratum Corneum

How to cite this article:
Okhandiar R P, Sharma SH, Singh D P, Mishra. Study of cutaneous insensible perspiration in different age-group. Indian J Dermatol Venereol Leprol 1994;60:15-7

How to cite this URL:
Okhandiar R P, Sharma SH, Singh D P, Mishra. Study of cutaneous insensible perspiration in different age-group. Indian J Dermatol Venereol Leprol [serial online] 1994 [cited 2020 Oct 22];60:15-7. Available from:

  Introduction Top

Irritability of the skin associated with, if not caused by, progressive dryness is common in elderly which worsens in winter leading to pruritus. [1] In children, on the contrary, the skin is soft and supple except in pathological states. Softness and pliability of the skin is dependent upon the water-content and water-holding capacity of the stratum corneum (SC) [2] probably upon its hydro­soluble protein fraction. [3] The availability of water to SC is largely a passive diffusion from underlying wet tissue, so-called 'Cutaneous Insensible Perspiration' (CIP) which is itself dependent upon various physiological and pathological states of SC.

The measurement of CIP has been undertaken here, to assess the physiological status of SC in different age group as very little data is available and none from the tropical countries, so far this parameter is concerned.

  Materials and Methods Top

`Unventilated chamber' method is adopted here by which the CIP is measured gravimetrically (monopan electric analytical balance ± 0.1 mg.) recording the change in weight of hygroscopic salt (fused calcium chloride A.R.) placed in the chamber . [4]

The volunteers were selected from the staff members and their relatives, all males and without any systemic or skin disease. The subjects were divided in four groups according to their age as detailed in [Table - 1].

All the experiments were performed in winter months at the prevailing atmospheric temperatures below 22°C, when the sweat glands remain inactive. [5]

  Results Top

The results are shown in [Table - 1] and in the Scattergram [Figure - 1]. It can be seen that the CIP values are higher in children below 16 years of age which becomes stabilised between 16 to 40 years (Group B and C in [Tabel 1]), and appear to be slightly diminished over 40 years of age (Group D). When the CIP values of Group D is compared with other age-groups, the variation is significant (p < 0.001 and p < 0.05).

  Comments Top

Although Winkelmann (1969) [6] commented that individual, regional, age and species difference may account for cutaneous permeability, it is generally agreed that aging has no effect on the passive diffusion of water through the skin' except in pretermed infants where SC is incompletely formed. [8] Although, quite significant changes in dermal collagen and reticulin have been recorded, little appreciable change in SC of aged has been noted inspite of thin epidermis and poor epidermal proliferation.9 Some structural changes like decreased keratinocyte dimensions and increased corneocyte size have been attributed to poor epidermal proliferation by Marks. [10]

The present study shows that there is gradual diminition of water-diffusion from the underlying wet tissue to the SC with the advancement of age. Whether this could be due to poor availability of water or due to defective barrier or poor water-holding capacity of the SC due to a qualitative change in its chemical and physical structure, remains a question which needs further study and evaluation. Moreover, it is too premature to conclude that low CIP would account for dryness of the skin in aged ; nevertheless it does remain an interesting observation which needs to be connected with other physio­chemical changes taking place in the SC in old age.

  References Top

1.Burton JL, Rook A. The ages of man and their dermatosis. In: Text Book of Dermatology (Rook A, Wilkinson DS, Ebling FJG, et al, eds), 4th edn. Bombay: Oxford University press, 1987 ; 265-83.  Back to cited text no. 1    
2.Blank IH. Factors which influence the water­content of the stratum corneum. J Invest Dermatol 1952; 18 : 433-40.  Back to cited text no. 2  [PUBMED]  
3.Blank IH. Further observations on factors which influence the water-content of the stratum corneum. J Invest Dermatol 1953 ; 21 : 259-71.  Back to cited text no. 3  [PUBMED]  
4.Monash S, Blank H. Location and reformation of the epithelial barrier to water vapour. Arch Dermatol 1958 ; 78 : 710-4.  Back to cited text no. 4  [PUBMED]  
5.Kuno Y, Kashiwabara I. An effective method for suppression of local sweating. Chinese J Physiol 1937 ; 11 : 41-5.  Back to cited text no. 5    
6.Winkelmann RK. The relationship of the structure of the epidermis to percutaneous absorption. Br J Dermatol 1969; 81 (suppl 4) : 11-22.  Back to cited text no. 6    
7.Scheuplein RJ, Bronaugh RL. Percutaneous Absorption. In : Biochemistry and Physiology of the Skin (Goldsmith LA, ed), New York Oxford Univ Press, 1988 ; 1280.  Back to cited text no. 7    
8.Nachman RL, Easterly NB. Increased skin permeability in preterm infants. J Ped 1971 ; 79 : 628-32.  Back to cited text no. 8    
9.Baker H, Blair CP. Cell replacement in,the human stratum corneum in old age. Br J Dermatol 1968 ; 80 : 367-72.  Back to cited text no. 9  [PUBMED]  
10.Marks R. Epidermal and corneocyte size changes with age. In : B.A.D. Investigative Group Winter Meeting. Br J Dermatol 1980 ; 102: 738-9.  Back to cited text no. 10  [PUBMED]  


[Figure - 1]


[Table - 1]


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