Bibel, DJ, et al. Topical sphingolipids in antisepsis and antifungal therapy. Clinical and Experimental Dermatology 20(5):395-400 (1995). The sphingolipids sphingosine and sphinganine, both of which are strongly inhibitory effects for both bacteria and fungi in the stratum corneum of the skin, were used as topical antiseptics against Staphylococcus aureus and Candida albicans, as a restorative antiseptic against expanded normal skin flora, and as therapy for Candida albicans and Tricophyton mentagrophytes infections with very good results and low toxicity.
Imokawa, G, et al. Decreased level of ceramides in stratum corneum of atopic dermatitis: an etiologic factor in atopic dry skin? Journal of Investigative Dermatitis 96(4):523-526 (1991). The lipids found in the stratum corneum, particularly the ceramides (metabolic products of sphingomyelin), are important in maintaining the water retention and permeability barrier functions of the skin. Skin diseases marked by a breakdown in these functions, such as atopic dermatitis, are characterized by decreased levels of ceramides in the stratum corneum. Ceramide levels also decrease with age. Thus it is concluded that ceramide insufficiency is a factor in dry skin conditions.
Bibel, DJ, et al. Sphingosines: antimicrobial barriers of the skin. Acta Dermato-Venereologica 73(6):407-411 (1993). One of the main functions of the skin is to prevent microbial infections. Skin lipids, particularly sphingosines, which are also derived from sphingomyelin, found in the stratum corneum of the skin are one of the ways the skin controls microbial survival on the skin. Sphingosines were found to have bactericidal, bacteriostatic or fungistatic effects on Staphylococcus aureus, Candida albicans, Tricophyton mentagrophytes, Tricophyton tonsurans and Epidermatophyton floccosum, common microbes found on the skin.
Wieczorek, Z., et al. "Proline-rich polypeptide from ovine colostrum: its effect on skin permeability and on the immune response." Immunology, 1979;36(4):875-881.