[en] Chitin/therapeutic use ; Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1/complications/pathology ; Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2/complications/pathology ; Double-Blind Method ; Emollients/therapeutic use ; Female ; Foot Dermatoses/drug therapy/pathology ; Galvanic Skin Response/drug effects ; Humans ; Menopause ; Middle Aged ; Skin/drug effects/pathology ; Treatment Outcome ; Water/analysis ; Water Loss, Insensible/drug effects ; beta-Glucans/therapeutic use
[en] BACKGROUND: Corneocyte accumulation (hyperkeratosis, xerosis) commonly occurs in the stratum corneum (SC) of the feet of diabetic patients, as well as menopausal women. OBJECTIVE: To compare the effects of a 2.5% chitin-glucan formulation with its placebo, and commercially available glycerol formulations. METHODS: This two-step controlled double-blind, randomized, intra-individual study was performed in 30 type 1 and 2 diabetic menopausal women suffering from xerosis of the feet. The formulations were applied once daily for 3 weeks. Electrometric assessments were performed on three sites of the feet at entry in the study, at weekly intervals during the treatment phase, and in a 2-week follow-up out of treatment. Positive controls consisted in two commercially available formulations enriched in glycerol. RESULTS: Data revealed an unequivocal benefit provided by the 2.5% chitin-glucan formulation compared with placebo. The electrometric values were significantly higher at each evaluation time during both treatment and follow-up phases. The two glycerol-enriched formulations showed slightly different kinetics of SC moisturization. A steep increase was followed by a plateau level and a rapid decline after stopping the treatments. CONCLUSION: The increased moisturization of the SC of the sole probably improves the desquamation process and reduces xerosis of the soles.