Effects of systemic treatment with statins on skin barrier function and stratum corneum water-holding capacity

V. Brazzelli, F. Distante, G. Perani, E. Berardesca

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Topical application of inhibitors of HMGCoA reductase, the rate-limiting enzyme of cholesterol synthesis, has been shown to induce impairment of barrier function. Objective: Assessing whether oral administration of statins used for reducing blood levels of cholesterol induces functional changes in stratum corneum barrier. Materials and Methods: 69 subjects of both sexes undergoing treatment for hypercholesterolemia (mean age 48 ± 11 years) entered the study; 43 had been treated with simvastatin and 11 with pravastatin for 6 months; 15 only on dietary regimen served as controls. Efficiency of stratum corneum water barrier was evaluated by transepidermal water loss (TEWL) measurement using an evaporimeter; water-holding capacity of the stratum corneum was assessed by the sorption-desorption test measured by capacitance. Statistical analysis was performed using ANOVA. Results: No differences were found between the groups (simvastatin, pravastatin, diet) concerning both basal TEWL and the dynamic of water binding in the stratum corneum. Conclusions: Prolonged treatment with cholesterol-lowering drugs based on inhibition of HMGCoA reductase does not alter the permeability barrier of the skin.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)214-216
Number of pages3
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1996


  • Cholesterol synthesis
  • HMG-CoA reductase
  • Skin barrier function
  • Statins
  • Transepidermal water loss
  • Water-holding capacity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dermatology


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