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Comparative Surfactant Reactivity of Canine and Human Stratum Corneum: A Plea for the Use of the Corneosurfametry Bioassay


Véronique Goffin, Jacques Fontaine and Gérald E. Piérard

Comparative dermatology has paid little attention to the physiopathology of the stratum corneum. In this study, we investigated the responses of human and canine horny layers to marketed animal wash products by using the corneosurfametry bioassay. Previous work has shown that, with increasing surfactant aggressiveness to the stratum corneum, the colorimetric index of mildness (CIM) decreases, while both the corneosurfametry index (CSMI) and the overall difference in corneosurfametry (ODC) increase. In the present study, stratum corneum reactivity to wash products and inter-individual variability were significantly higher in humans than in dogs. For the three corneosurfametry variables, linear correlations were found between data gathered in the two panel groups. In conclusion, this pilot study suggests that mean stratum corneum reactivity to surfactants is stronger in humans than in dogs. Interindividual variation, indicative of sensitive skin, also appears to be broader in humans. As a consequence, data gathered from dogs by using the corneosurfametry bioassay cannot be extrapolated to humans. Such variation between species could be important in the assessment of product safety and in supporting claims for mildness.