Comparison of transepidermal water loss and spectroscopic absorbance to quantify changes of the stratum corneum after tape stripping.

Research paper by H-J HJ Weigmann, J J Ulrich, S S Schanzer, U U Jacobi, H H Schaefer, W W Sterry, J J Lademann

Indexed on: 24 May '05Published on: 24 May '05Published in: Skin pharmacology and physiology


The objective and quantitative application of tape stripping in pharmaceutics and dermatopharmacokinetics requires the determination of the exact position of each removed tape strip inside the stratum corneum (SC) and/or the determination of the relative SC thickness. In this study, transepidermal water loss (TEWL) and the optical spectroscopic data of the corneocytes were measured simultaneously during the complete removal of the SC by tape stripping. The spectroscopic data quantitatively reflect the amount of corneocytes removed by the individual tape strips, whereas TEWL and 1/TEWL are not sensitive enough to measure the relatively small changes in the SC thickness realized by the removal of the individual strips. The relative SC thickness can be determined directly by the spectroscopic data, while the 1/TEWL values require a second independent method. The results demonstrate the importance of tape stripping characterizing the behaviour of topically applied substances.