The skin acts as a physiological barrier between an animal and its environment. It contains a very effective physical, immunological, and microbial barrier that protects the body against dehydration and constant environmental insults. Several biophysical parameters have been measured to assess the barrier functions and biophysical specificities.
Skin biophysical measurements have been reported to be affected by age, breed, sex, site of measurement, animal excitement, gonadal status and coat colour. Skin pH differs between breeds, time periods and sex. Reports of normal canine skin have ranged between 4.84-9.95. However, many investigators indicate that the most common pH range for canine skin is 5.5-7.2. It was reported that cutaneous pH of males was higher than females and that the skin of neutered females was higher than that of their intact counterparts. It is clear that pH values differ within species. Moreover, skin pH values seem to differ across the body surface. pH is significantly higher at the nose, lower back and tail but lower at the ear, interdigital area and cranial elbow compared to other body regions.
The skin of haired mammals is generally acidic. An acidic pH may help protect the skin from invasion of microorganisms. The pH also influences permeability and keratinization. Trans epidermal water loss, skin hydration and skin pH can provide a picture of skin health, because they can alter in disease.
Skin interaction with microorganisms and nanoparticle-based therapeutics
The complex interaction between the skin barrier and host microorganism interaction is a vast field of investigation. The microbiome is of crucial importance to the host. ‘Beneficial’ organisms interact with the innate and adaptive immune system and educate the immune system.
One of the most common inflammatory skin diseases in dogs is atopic dermatitis. Secondary skin infections also challenge in cases of atopic dermatitis. Malassezia pachydermatis is a commensal yeast which commonly causes pruritic dermatitis in dogs and is a perpetuating cause of canine otitis externa and skin malodour. An intact skin barrier plays role in the pathogenesis of several disease. Previous studies have shown the effect of alterations in cutaneous pH in the aforementioned pathological entities. Bathing with a nonirritating shampoo and lukewarm water has been used for the improvement of skin and coat hygiene and care. The physical removal of surface allergens and microbes combined with the rehydration of the stratum corneum is likely to be beneficial for a direct soothing effect to the skin.
Currently, dermatology remains an important field of investigation in small animal medicine. Nanoparticle-based therapeutics have been utilized in human dermatology due to their antimicrobial and wound healing traits. Several studies describe topical application of nanoparticles for antimicrobial and wound healing purposes. Silver nanoparticles have long been used for their inherent antimicrobial and odour-reducing properties.
Characteristics of an ideal shampoo
Bathing a pet with a mild to the skin pH-balanced shampoo, could help the owner and the veterinarian to preserve the pet’s skin and coat in good health when utilized both as part of a therapeutic plan or in every day care. Bathing once to twice a month, or as often as the veterinarian prescribes can maintain your pet’s skin healthy. An ideal product would combine:
- A balanced pH according to gender, reproductive status and age that could retain an intact skin barrier
- Elimination of malodour
- Protection against microbial infections and parasites
- Mild sunscreen and hair conditioning agents especially when short long-haired breeds are encountered, respectively
- Environmentally friendly plant extracts which would moisturize and clean the skin.
It seems that combining the advantages of nano-particles with a balanced shampoo, would benefit a skin prone to inflammation, as well as a healthy one when incorporated in the usual skin care program. NanoSanitas’ nano-enhanced pet shampoos can mimic nature’s ability to heal, protect from bacterial pathogens and repel parasites and insects. Moreover, the line is free of parabens and harmful chemicals. All products are gender/hormone specific, fight malodour, and contain sunscreen and conditioner depending on the type of fur. NanoSanitas’ shampoo line is tailored to meet every pets needs, keeping the skin and fur healthy and soft.