The physical barrier created by the skin is critical for protecting the body from pathogens and the harmful external environment. Skin barrier breakdown can cause substantial pain and morbidity and increase the likelihood of infection. Prolonged exposure to moisture, including caustic bodily fluids, can lead to maceration and barrier breakdown. No-rinse cleansers offer a fast, efficient, and gentle option for cleansing intact, irritated, or denuded skin while still effectively removing bodily fluids, fecal material, and barrier pastes and creams.
Unlike many soaps and antiseptics, no-rinse cleansers cause minimal irritation and dryness. These products can be applied directly to the target area and can be used daily for total body bathing. The goal of this study was to determine if the application of two commercially available no-rinse cleansers*,$ influenced skin barrier permeability. To address this goal, test sites were mapped on an excised, ventral porcine skin flap and treatment groups were randomly assigned. Cleansers were applied for 15 minutes and were then gently removed.
A foam pad containing methylene blue dye was applied to the skin surface for 15 seconds, digital images were acquired, and the optical density of each test site was determined with densitometry. Using this strategy, products that create an impermeable barrier will reduce dye saturation into the skin; those that degrade the normal skin barrier will have increased saturation. The mean gray values were 44.39, 37.82, and 35.10 calibrated optical density units, for untreated control, cleanser 1*, and cleanser 2$, respectively.
Pairwise comparisons with Bonferroni correction following significant ANOVA (F2,33=22.42, p<0.0001) show that while both cleansers resulted in minor decreases in optical density compared to control (p<0.0001), there was no significant difference between the two cleansers (p=0.0660). This finding demonstrates that both cleansers minimally increase barrier permeability and confirms the gentle nature of both products.