The isolation of two esters of the naphthalquinone alcohol, shikonin, from the shrub Annals of Dermatology
- Ballantine JA
- HR Cho, et al. Vol. 20,
BACKGROUND A disruption of the balance between the water content of the stratum corneum (SC) and skin surface lipids may lead to the clinical manifestation of dryness of skin in patients with atopic dermatitis (AD). OBJECTIVE To determine whether supplementation of gromwell (Lithospermum erythrorhizon), one of herbs used in East Asia in remedies for various abnormal skin conditions, may improve the SC level of hydration and ceramides, major lipid in SC in patients with AD. METHODS A total of 28 subjects with AD were randomly assigned into two groups: either gromwell group received dextrose contained capsules with 1.5 g of gromwell extracts or placebo group received only dextrose contained capsules for 10 weeks. RESULTS In contrast to no alteration of SC hydration and ceramides in placebo group, the SC hydration in gromwell group was significantly increased in parallel with an increase of SC ceramides. Furthermore, % increase of SC hydration in gromwell group bore a positive correlation with the clinical severity, which suggests that the increase of SC hydration in gromwell group was more effective as AD was more severe. CONCLUSION Supplementation of gromwell improves SC hydration in parallel with an increase of ceramides in part.