In vivo transcutaneous penetration of nicotinates and sensitive skin

E. Berardesca, M. Cespa, N. Farinelli, G. Rabbiosi, H. Maibach

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Proclivity to develop irritant reactions and transcutaneous penetration of nicotinates has been investigated in 20 subjects of both sexes, divided into reactors and nonreactors on the basis of the responses to irritant stimuli. 1% sodium lauryl sulphate (patch application for 24 h) and 5% lactic acid in aqueous solutions were used to detect chemical and sensory (subjective) irritation. The vasodilatation induced was measured using a chromameter for 1 h after topical application of the chemical. The area-under-the-curve response and the peak response were used to assess the in vivo penetration of methyl nicotinate (10 mM in aqueous solution). Significant differences were found between reactors and non-reactors. Non-reactors showed a significantly decreased area-under-the curve response and peak response to methyl nicotinate compared to reactors. Nicotinate-induced vasodilatation has been used as a model to study transcutaneous penetration of chemicals; the correlation between increased penetration of nicotinates and skin hyperreactivity to irritant substances may suggest an increased transcutaneous penetration of water-soluble chemicals in individuals with sensitive skin.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)35-38
Number of pages4
JournalContact Dermatitis
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1991


  • chromametry
  • irritation
  • lactic acid
  • methyl nicotinate
  • sensitive skin
  • sodium lauryl sulphate
  • transcutaneous penetration
  • water-soluble compounds

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology
  • Dermatology
  • Toxicology

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