The effect of repeated exposure of cutting oil on 8 guinea pigs' skin was evaluated by visual scoring for erythema and skin water vapour loss (SVL) measurement over a 6-week period. The visual scores (measuring severity of erythema) and SVL values were significantly higher on skin treated with cutting oils (positive control) compared to untreated skin (negative control) throughout the study period. The scores and SVL values returned to near-baseline values when cutting oil application was stopped. In addition, the effect of 2 "after-work" emollient creams on 8 guinea pigs' skin repeatedly treated with a cutting oil was assessed by similar methods. The visual scores and SVL values of guinea pig skin that was repeatedly treated with the cutting oil and moisturized with "after-work" emollient creams, were significantly higher than negative and positive control guinea pig skin. It appeared that the 2 "after-work" emollient creams do not alleviate the irritant effect of the cutting oil on guinea pig skin. They appeared to aggravate the irritant effect of the cutting oil.