[en] Diaper dermatitis affects nearly 50% of infants as well as some bed-ridden adults particularly in the elderly people. This condition is induced by irritation and maceration, and may be further exacerbated by Candida sp. colonization and infection. A key factor in the pathogenesis is the alteration in both the barrier function and the water-holding capacity of the stratum corneum. The purpose of this study was to assess the effects of an unmedicated zinc oxide-petrolatum paste and to observe for possible shielding and restoring effects on the water-holding capacity of the stratum corneum altered by diaper dermatitis. The paste appeared to load the hollow skin microrelief. It was inferred that this effect was responsible for a reticulated shielding effect. Compared with healthy skin and untreated diaper dermatitis, the application of the anhydrous paste resulted in a trend to normalize electrometric properties of skin reflecting the combination of transepidermal water loss and the water-holding capacity of the stratum corneum.