Effects of Organic Solvents on the Barrier Properties of Human Nail

Document Type


Publication Date

Winter 12-7-2012


The effects of organic solvent systems on nail hydration and permeability have not been well studied. The objectives of the present study were to investigate the effects of binary aqueous organic solvent systems of ethanol (EtOH), propylene glycol (PPG), and polyethylene glycol 400 (PEG) on the barrier properties of nail plates. 3H–water, 14C–urea, and 14C–tetraethylammonium ions were the probes in the nail uptake and transport experiments to study the effect(s) of organic solvents on nail hydration and permeability. Gravimetric studies were also performed as a secondary method to study nail hydration and the reversibility of the nail after organic solvent treatments. Both ungual uptake and transport were directly related to the concentration of the organic solvent in the binary systems. Partitioning of the probes into and transport across the nail decreased with an increase in the organic solvent concentration. These changes corresponded to the changes in solution viscosity and the barrier properties of the nail. In general, the effects for PPG and PEG were more pronounced than those for EtOH. Practically, these results suggest that organic solvents in formulations can increase nail barrier resistivity.


The Version of Record is available from the publisher at http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/jps.22590/full