P&G issued US patent for personal care product dealing with 'undesirable skin conditions associated with dry skin'

ALEXANDRIA, Virginia , June 26, 2013 () – The Procter & Gamble Company (Cincinnati, OH) has been issued patent number 8466335, according to news reporting originating out of Alexandria, Virginia, by NewsRx editors (see also The Procter & Gamble Company).

The patent's inventors are Klofta, Thomas James (Cincinnati, OH); Lavon, Gary Dean (Liberty, OH); Schulte, Thomas Edward (Cincinnati, OH).

This patent was filed on April 26, 2010 and was published online on June 18, 2013.

From the background information supplied by the inventors, news correspondents obtained the following quote: "Undesirable skin conditions associated with dry skin (e.g., redness, itching, burning, peeling, cracking, scaling, flaking) occur in varying degrees and at various times for most humans. These undesirable skin conditions may be particularly evident in winter. Skin care products formulated with at least one active ingredient to address undesirably dry skin are widely known. For example, occlusives such as petrolatum or silicone oils are widely known to inhibit loss of natural moisture by forming a barrier between the epidermis and the environment. Another approach is the use of keratolytic agents such as alpha-hydroxy acids to enhance the rate of dermal exfoliation. A third approach is the topical application of a humectant such as glycerin to help retain moisture in the skin.

"Undesirable skin conditions may also be caused by certain fungi (e.g., Candida albicans), which are known to attack the skin of humans. Fungal infections may be caused by dermatophytes, which are opportunistic organisms, or yeasts, which may occur naturally on the body. Commonly known types of fungal infections include athletes foot; yeast infections of the hair, skin, fingernails and toenails; jock itch; ringworm; and diaper rash. In particular, fungal infections associated with diaper rash may occur more often in infants or young children who are prescribed antibiotics. The antibiotics may alter the balance between the yeast and the 'good' bacteria typically present in the intestine of a human by killing the good bacteria. This imbalance may result in an increased yeast concentration in the intestine and, consequently, more yeast being passed out of the body in the stool. The increased amount of yeast being passed out of the body may attack the skin around the anus, perinea, and/or genitals of the child, causing skin irritation.

"Still other undesirable skin conditions may be caused by exposure of the skin to certain enzymes. For example, it is believed that fecal proteolytic and lipolytic enzymes, of intestinal and/or pancreatic origin, may play a direct role in causing diaper rash, which can lead to skin irritation and inflammation. Proteases and lipases are classes of enzymes produced by the body to help degrade proteins and fats in the digestive process. When in contact with the skin of a human, these enzymes are capable of causing skin irritation. Typically, proteases and lipases are neutralized prior to passing out of the body. However, sickness or infection may reduce the body's ability to neutralize these enzymes. As a result, these enzymes may retain a significant amount of enzymatic activity when passed out of the body in the stool. In addition, the irritating effects of fecal enzymatic activity toward the skin may be amplified if urine is present and/or if the skin is occluded, which may occur in diaper wearing individuals. Water, and particularly water in the form of urine, is especially effective at diminishing the barrier property of skin, thereby enhancing the susceptibility of skin to fecal enzyme irritation. An alkaline feces pH is a further contributing factor to enhanced enzymatic activity of feces. For example, it is well known that although the feces of breast-fed babies are usually acidic, the feces of bottle-fed and spoon-fed infants are generally alkaline, with a pH ranging from slightly alkaline (pH 7.2-7.5) to very alkaline (pH 8.7 and above). Thus, bottle-fed and spoon-fed infants in particular may have a propensity to develop diaper rash due to pH-enhanced activity of fecal enzymes.

"For babies, the occurrence of diaper rash is not uncommon. To address the cause and/or symptoms associated with diaper rash, a caregiver may apply a commercially available rash cream to the diaper rash affected area of a baby's skin. Although commercial diaper rash creams may be effective for addressing the symptoms and/or causes of diaper rash, at least some caregivers may find they are inconvenient to apply, since such creams typically involve rubbing and/or spreading a thick and/or tacky ointment onto the baby's skin. The rubbing and/or spreading action may cause additional frictional irritation to the skin, and the undesirably transfer of the ointment, for example, to one's hands and/or fingers may lead to the inconvenient and additional steps of cleaning one's hands. Thus, at least some caregivers desire a more convenient means to apply personal care compositions to skin.

"A variety of containers and delivery systems have been developed for storing, dispensing, and applying skin care compositions to skin or other surfaces (e.g., human skin, animal skin, substrate surfaces). One well known dispensing system is a simple 'squeezable' container. That is, a container formed from a flexible material to which a user can apply pressure by squeezing, thereby reducing the internal volume of the container and forcing the contents of the container out through an opening. However, at least some commonly known squeezable containers expel their contents in a manner that may be hard to control. For example, some commonly known lotion dispensers may initially dispense a 'blob' of lotion, but eventually stop dispensing, or worse, begin a sort of 'splattering' or 'sputtering' of lotion, which may result in contamination of clothing or other surfaces. Because of the inexact method of dispensing the skin care composition out of a squeezable container (i.e., applying too much or too little pressure), a user may not dispense the desired amount of lotion. In addition, it may be necessary for a user to spread the skin care composition over the desired area of the body with a hand or finger, resulting in the undesirable contamination of the hands/fingers and/or discomfort to the irritated, highly sensitive areas of the skin.

"Aerosol delivery systems have been widely used to deliver a variety of consumer goods, including skin care compositions because they typically 'atomize' the composition, which may reduce the need for spreading the composition over the skin (e.g., with a hand or fingers). Aerosol systems typically utilize volatile propellants to push the product out of a container. Aerosol technology has gained favor for being both effective and relatively inexpensive. But the release of traditionally used fluorocarbon and hydrocarbon type propellants into the atmosphere is undesirable due to the actual and perceived negative impacts these chemicals may have on the environment. Another disadvantage is that the aerosol containers are considered pressure vessels, which can necessitate extra safety equipment and procedures during its manufacture. The pressurized containers can also create concern for human injury if problems arise during storage, use, or disposal. And the high internal pressure accompanying many aerosol products may limit the material and geometry options for the container. Yet another disadvantage is that as the amount of product in the container decreases through normal use, the pressure inside the container typically decreases. In at least some instances, when the container no longer has sufficient pressure to expel the stored product, there may still be a useful amount of product remaining in the container. And when the aerosol container is discarded, the remaining product is wasted or may even result in undesirable environmental pollution. Still another disadvantage of aerosol dispensers is that when used to apply a composition to the skin of a user, the composition tends to be expelled at an undesirably cold temperature and may create a feeling of discomfort on the skin of a user.

"A pump system is one alternative to aerosols and squeezable containers. Pump systems generally dispense a metered amount of product by actuating a pump. However, different consumers may not all desire the same amount of product for a particular use, and thus difficulty arises in providing a proper metered amount that is satisfactory to all users. For example, a first consumer may need to pump a dispenser two times to dispense the desired amount of product, while another consumer may only require one pump of the same dispenser. And if the desired amount of product is somewhere between pumps, the consumer may become frustrated in attempting to use the pump dispenser. In addition, pump systems typically must be properly oriented to function as intended. For example, some commonly known pump systems will not function properly when the pump is oriented upside-down or even sideways. And some pump systems may dispense undesirably, intermittently, or not at all as the amount of product in the container is depleted. Further, some pump systems may be better than aerosol containers when it comes to expelling the contents the container, but pump systems may still be unable to expel substantially all of their contents. Finally, some nozzles tend to clog if not used for extended periods of time, especially if the skin care composition contains particulate ingredients.

"Accordingly, it would be desirable to provide a skin care composition in a non-pump, non-aerosol dispenser. It would also be desirable to provide a skin care composition in a dispenser capable of dispensing substantially all of the skin care composition. It would further be desirable to provide a skin care product that at least reduces the potential for cloggings issues within the dispenser to occur."

Supplementing the background information on this patent, NewsRx reporters also obtained the inventors' summary information for this patent: "In order to provide a solution to the problems set forth hereinabove, a new personal care product for applying a personal care composition to skin in the form of a film without the use of an additional applicator is disclosed. The personal care product comprises an outer container and an at least partially expanded collapsible bag disposed in the outer container. The collapsible bag includes an elastic member surrounding at least a portion of the collapsible bag such that the elastic member is stretched axially and radially. The elastic member is constructed of an elastically extensible material that permits the transfer of infrared radiation through at least a portion of the elastic member. The personal care product also includes a personal care composition disposed in the collapsible bag."

For the URL and additional information on this patent, see: Klofta, Thomas James; Lavon, Gary Dean; Schulte, Thomas Edward. Personal Care Product. U.S. Patent Number 8466335, filed April 26, 2010, and published online on June 18, 2013. Patent URL: http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO2&Sect2=HITOFF&p=54&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsearch-bool.html&r=2699&f=G&l=50&co1=AND&d=PTXT&s1=20130618.PD.&OS=ISD/20130618&RS=ISD/20130618

Keywords for this news article include: Enzymes and Coenzymes, The Procter & Gamble Company.

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