Monday, 28 December 2015

Herbal medicines that benefit epidermal permeability barrier function

Volume 33, Issue 2, June 2015, Pages 90–95
Special Issue for the 5th Annual Congress of Pan Asian‐Pacific Skin Barrier Research Society (PAPSBRS)


Epidermal permeability barrier function plays a critical role in regulating cutaneous functions. Hence, researchers have been searching for effective and affordable regimens to enhance epidermal permeability barrier function. In addition to topical stratum corneum lipids, peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor, and liver X receptor ligands, herbal medicines have been proven to benefit epidermal permeability barrier function in both normal and diseased skin, including atopic dermatitis, glucocorticoid-induced skin damage, and UVB-damaged skin. The potential mechanisms by which herbal medicines improve the permeability barrier include stimulation of epidermal differentiation, lipid production, antimicrobial peptide expression, and antioxidation. Therefore, utilization of herbal medicines could be a valuable alternative approach to enhance epidermal permeability barrier function in order to prevent and/or treat skin disorders associated with permeability barrier abnormalities.


  • dermatitis;
  • herbal medicines;
  • permeability barrier;
  • skin
Conflicts of interest: The authors declare that they have no financial or non-financial conflicts of interest related to the subject matter or materials discussed in this article.

Corresponding author. Dermatology (190), 4150 Clement Street, San Francisco, CA 94121, USA.

Corresponding author. School of Basic Medical Sciences, Tianjing Medical University, Tianjing 300070, PR China.
Both authors contributed equally.