The Journal of The Japanese Society of Balneology, Climatology and Physical Medicine
Online ISSN : 1884-3697
Print ISSN : 0029-0343
ISSN-L : 0029-0343
Effects of Bathing in Warm Water with Added Glycerin on Slain Conditions and Prevention of Skin Disorders in Patients with Severe Motor and Intellectual Disabilities
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2008 Volume 71 Issue 3 Pages 173-179


Dry skin causes many skin disorders such as dry dermatitis. It requires a lot of time and medication to treat patients with skin disorder that cover a vast skin area. Although glycerin is a component of many skin care creams and cosmetics, there is no report regarding the effects of glycerin alone as a bathwater additive. We investigated the effects of bathing in warm water with added glycerin on skin conditions and the prevention of skin disorders in patients with severe motor and intellectual disabilities.
Two studies were conducted to analyze the effects of a glycerin+warm water bath (GWWB). In study 1, the skin conditions in a total of 18 subjects were compared between the glycerin group (G) and nonglycerin group (NG). In the G group, skin moisture, skin pH, and skin sebum were measured with a skin analyzer noninvasively at the forehead and precordial and lateral forearm after GWWB for approximately 6 months. Subjects in the 2 groups had bathed 2 times per week and were immersed in warm water at 40 to 41°C for 2 to 3min. In the G group, 250ml glycerin was added in a 14001 bathtub. In study 2, a total of 78 subjects were examined retrospectively; their medical records after GWWB for approximately 6 months were investigated to gain information regarding cutaneous diseases (number of diagnosis, drugs, areas affected with cutaneous diseases, and days of treatment) in order to compare the G and NG groups.
Skin moisture levels at forearm improved significantly (p<0.05) in the G group. The average skin moisture level in other areas was higher in the G group than in the NG group but without sig nificance. Skin sebum levels at the forehead improved significantly (p<0.05) in the G group. The number of diagnosis, drugs, and areas with cutaneous disease were significantly lower in the G group than in the NG group. Further, the average number of treatment days was lower in case of the G group than in case of the NG group but without significance.
The moisturizing effects are produced due to a thin film formed by glycerin after GWWB, especially in an area where there is friction between the skin and clothes. Skin sebum is also maintained due to glycerin-film formation.
It is possible that maintenance of skin moisture protects the skin from cutaneous diseases due to xerosis. In conclusion, these results indicate that GWWB maintains skin moisture and sebum and prevents skin disorders.

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