Sensitive and ethnic skin: A need for special skin-care agents?

E. Berardesca, H. I. Maibach

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Sensitive skin is a complex problem with genetic, individual, environmental, occupational, and ethnic implications. Further work is needed to rank irritants and irritant reactions to classify sensitive skin on the basis of standard models. The development of topical products designed for sensitive and ethnic skin may be advisable to optimize drug activity with minimal side effects. The availability of transdermal systems for drug delivery highlights the problem. Occlusive transdermal patch systems for delivery of clonidine show sensitization rates of 34% in white women, 18% in white men, 14% in black women, and 8% in black men. Besides ethnic differences in transcutaneous penetration, individual and ethnic skin sensitivity may play an important role in determining both patient compliance and therapeutic efficacy of drugs and cosmetics; furthermore, a drug formulation considering skin physiology may prevent unwanted local and general adverse effects.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)89-92
Number of pages4
JournalDermatologic Clinics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1991

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dermatology


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