How EpiCeram® works
The skin’s natural barrier
The outermost layer of the skin is called the stratum corneum which is made up of cells called corneocytes. The purpose of this important layer is to protect the skin from bacteria or allergens as well as to help the skin retain water and other important substances necessary for skin protection. The corneocytes are imbedded and supported by a lipid rich matrix to help keep the normal function of this important skin barrier. The skin barrier can be visualized as corneocytes representing the bricks of a wall, and the rich lipid matrix the “mortar”. When this system breaks down, many skin diseases such as atopic dermatitis can present themselves.
Normal healthy skin barrier
In normal skin, the skin barrier prevents excess water loss and prevents invasion by micro-organisms/allergens and chemicals.
Disrupted skin barrier
When the skin barrier is broken down, as it is in diseases such as atopic dermatitis (eczema), there is a reduction in the key lipids of the stratum corneum (ceramide, cholesterol and free fatty acids). This allows for greater loss of moisture and allows the entry of microbes and allergens.
Moisturizers re-hydrate the skin and contain humectants and occlusives. Humectants like glycerin attract water into the corneocytes. Occlusives like petroleum jelly provide a physical barrier to seal in moisture and prevent water loss. These ingredients provide temporary relief for dry skin but do correct the underlying problem in the matrix.
Barrier repair with EpiCeram®
In addition to moisturizing the skin with ingredients such as glycerin and petrolatum, EpiCeram® replenishes the lipids in the stratum corneum by providing three essential ingredients, ceramide, cholesterol, and free fatty acid in a patented 3:1:1 ratio that mimics the natural level of the stratum corneum. EpiCeram® nourishes the skin by replenishing key lipids and accelerates the healing process in atopic dermatitis.2
EpiCeram® is a prescription only topical skin-barrier repair product for the treatment of atopic dermatitis.