Validity of skin blot examination for albumin and nerve growth factor β to detect itching of the skin in Indonesian older adults

Dianis Wulan Sari, Takeo Minematsu, Mikako Yoshida, Maiko Noguchi-Watanabe, Sanai Tomida, Aya Kitamura, Masatoshi Abe, Hiromi Sanada

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Aim: Itching, a common skin disorder, impacts the quality of life of individuals. Itchy skin occurs more with increasing age and the prediction of itchy skin prognosis is necessary to provide good skincare. This study validated biomarkers in skin blotting to identify and measure itching sensation as well as conventional methods to measure skin barrier function. Materials and methods: From a cross-sectional study conducted in Long-term Care (LTC) facilities in Indonesia itching symptoms were obtained through a questionnaire. Skin conditions were assessed using photographs, stratum corneum (SC) hydration, skin pH, and skin blotting for biomarkers: albumin, interleukin 2 (IL2), nerve growth factor β (NGFβ), and thymic stromal lymphopoietin (TSLP). Association of skin measurements with the presence of skin blotting and trends analysis were conducted. Results: Altogether, 564 LTC residents (average age, 70 years) participated. The SC hydration, skin pH, albumin, and NGFβ were associated with the presence of itch (p value= <0.001, <0.001, <0.001, and <0.001, respectively). The signal levels of skin blotting biomarkers were higher in itch group than in the non-itch group. Additionally, the higher quantile of SC hydration was significantly associated with a lower intensity level of NGFβ and TSLP (p value = 0.005, 0.003, respectively). The lower quantile of skin pH (better skin condition) was significantly associated with lower albumin, NGFβ, and TSLP (p value = 0.048, 0.035, and <0.001, respectively). Conclusion: The albumin, NGFβ, and TSLP could be a candidate for measurement of itchy skin among older adult with disrupted skin barrier function and local skin inflammation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)42-50
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Tissue Viability
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Feb


  • Itch
  • Skin barrier function
  • Skin blotting
  • Skin corneum hydration
  • Skin inflammation
  • Skin pH


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