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Objective: To observe changes in transepidermal water loss (TEWL) at different times after water immersion.
Materials and Methods: TEWL values were measured before water immersion and at 3, 5, 10, 15, 20, and 30 minutes after immersion of the skin in water for 5 minutes.
Results: Forty-one healthy volunteers were enrolled with an average age of 30.4±5.5 years. Twenty-five subjects were female and sixteen were male. The TEWL value before water immersion (TEWLbaseline) was 13.16±7.27 g/m2/h and TEWL values at 3, 5, 10, 15, 20 and 30 minutes after immersion were 23.21±7.67, 16.12±3.42, 14.76±6.36, 14.45±6.67, 13.53±4.67 and 12.96±5.18 g/m2/h, respectively. After immersion, TEWL values at 3 and 5 minutes statistically increased compared to TEWLbaseline (p<0.001). TEWL values between 10 to 30 minutes gradually dropped with no statistically significant difference compared to the previous period and TEWLbaseline. Although total water loss from the skin occurred within 30 minutes, 56.9% of it occurred within 10 minutes after immersion. There was no significant difference between TEWLbaseline in males and females but the TEWL values at 3, 5 and 15 minutes after immersion in males was higher than in females (p<0.05).
Conclusion: TEWL statistically increased after water immersion for only 5 minutes. The cumulative percentage of TEWL was high within 10 minutes. Gender did not affect TEWL values before immersion; however, males experienced more water loss from the skin than females after immersion. Therefore, moisturizer should be applied immediately before TEWL occurs.
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