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Tape stripping skin barrier function
The next wound healing model, which we notice, involves the repeated application of cellophane tape to remove by stripping a layer of skin cells.
This causes a disruption of the stratum corneum barrier of the skin. This changes the skin’s permeability. Healing here was evaluated by measuring the skin recovery rate of recovery as seen in the skin barrier function using TEWL measurements.
Acute laboratory stressors can delay the skin function recovery following the disruptive by tape stripping. Twenty-five women were given the Trier Social Stress Test (TSST), a psychosical stressor. The TSST, a standardized laboratory stressor with a mock job interview and a mental arithmetic task, causing changes in heart rate, cortisol and cytokine production, and subjective anxiety responses.
Skin barrier repair was slowed in women following the TSST, as compared to a more unstressed period.
This result by researchers was repeated involving a larger study group of 85 fit men and women. Those who participated in the test showed a slower skin recovery function when the TSST was applied.
Academic examination was found causing stress and impacted skin barrier recovery. Twenty-seven professional and medical students were given a tape stripping procedure on 3 different occasions. Two were right after their winter and spring vacations. The third was during their winter final examination week.
Skin barrier recovery was significantly delayed after tape stripping during the examination period as judged against the two vacation periods.
Furthermore, students who reported the higher levels of stress during the examination period had slower recovery in skin barrier function, compared to participants who experienced less examination-induced stress.
Stress related to the dissolution of a marital relationship slowed recovery of the stratum corneum barrier function of the skin. Twenty-eight women involved in an on going divorce or separation and also 27 women who said they were in a relationship of marital satisfaction were subjected to the tape stripping procedure on both facial cheeks. Socially stressed women had delayed skin barrier following the tape stripping, judged against to less stressed women.
There have also been animal studies on this. For example different types of stressors can also impair skin barrier recovery. Three days of immobilization stress given to the animals slowed the skin barrier function recovery for up to 7 days, compared to other rats which had not been exposed to stress. Social stress for the rats associated with cage changing also slowed the recovery of skin barrier function. These results parallel the human data which indicates that psychological stress slows skin barrier recovery.