Gender Difference of in vivo Skin Surface pH in the Axilla and the Effect of a Standardized Washing Procedure with Tap WaterWilliams S. · Davids M. · Reuther T. · Kraus D. · Kerscher M.
Division of Cosmetic Sciences, University of Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany
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The purpose of our study was to evaluate the axillary skin surface pH and explore potential gender-related differences together with the influence of a washing procedure in healthy subjects. After a run-in period, the skin surface pH was measured in vivo in 10 men and 10 women under standardized conditions in three distinct locations of each axilla (at baseline and up to 6 h after washing). Potential interfering influences were thoroughly excluded. Our study revealed a statistically significant difference in axillary skin surface pH between men and women with more acidic values in females (p ≤ 0.001). The baseline axillary pH before washing was 6.58 ± 0.63 (right) and 6.67 ± 0.65 (left) in men compared to 5.8 ± 0.53 (right) and 5.94 ± 0.62 (left) in women. The difference between the right and left armpit was not statistically significant (p > 0.05) in any group. After standardized washing procedures with pure tap water, the mean axillary pH decreased significantly in women at all measurement times [lowest value 60 min after washing: 5.51 ± 0.7 (right) and 5.64 ± 0.7 (left)], while it slightly increased in men [highest value 240 min after washing: 6.7 ± 0.59 (right) and 6.78 ± 0.69 (left)]. In summary, there is a gender difference in axillary skin surface pH. Washing with water further increased the difference between male and female pH values.
© 2005 S. Karger AG, Basel
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