Research Techniques Made Simple: Transepidermal Water Loss Measurement as a Research Tool

Helen Alexander (Lead / Corresponding author), Sara Brown, Simon Danby, Carsten Flohr

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

113 Citations (Scopus)
177 Downloads (Pure)


Transepidermal water loss (TEWL) is the most widely used objective measurement for assessing the barrier function of skin in healthy individuals but also patients with skin diseases that are associated with skin barrier dysfunction, such as atopic dermatitis. TEWL is the quantity of condensed water that diffuses across a fixed area of stratum corneum to the skin surface per unit time. The water evaporating from the skin is measured using a probe that is placed in contact with the skin surface and contains sensors that detect changes in water vapor density. TEWL can be measured using an open-chamber, unventilated-chamber, or condenser-chamber device. It is a sensitive measure that is affected by properties of the surrounding microclimate such as environmental humidity, temperature, and airflow and should be measured under controlled conditions. TEWL varies significantly across different anatomical sites and also depends on sweat gland activity, skin temperature, and corneocyte properties. Here we describe how to optimally use TEWL measurements as a skin research tool in vivo and in vitro.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2295-2300.e1
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Investigative Dermatology
Issue number11
Early online date19 Oct 2018
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2018


  • AD
  • atopic dermatitis
  • SC
  • stratum orneum
  • TEWL
  • transepidermal water loss

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Dermatology
  • Cell Biology


Dive into the research topics of 'Research Techniques Made Simple: Transepidermal Water Loss Measurement as a Research Tool'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this