Contact dermatitis

Functional map and age-related differences in the human face: nonimmunologic contact urticaria induced by hexyl nicotinate.

PMID 16842548


Variation in human skin reactivity to various irritants in association with age and body region has been reported. Hexyl nicotinate (HN), a lipophilic nicotinate ester, was used to induce nonimmunologic contact urticaria in human volunteers of 2 age groups: 10 young subjects [24-34 years, mean +/- standard deviation (SD) 29.8 +/- 3.9 years] and 10 older volunteers (66-83 years, mean +/- SD 73.6 +/- 17.4 years); and to define skin function and potential age-related differences in various facial areas. About 5 mM of HN in ethanol was applied to 8 locations on the face, neck, and volar forearm. A laser Doppler flowmeter was used to determine baseline blood flow and to monitor the skin blood flow changes after HN application. In the contralateral areas, stratum corneum turnover was determined using 5% dansyl chloride in petrolatum. In the young group, the perioral area exhibited the strongest reaction to HN. In the older group, the chin was the most sensitive site. In both the groups, the forearm was the least responsive. The older group demonstrated a stronger reaction than the younger group in 3 sites (forehead, cheek, and nasolabial area). Stratum corneum turnover was slower in the nasolabial area and in the forearm in both age groups, whereas the fastest was in the perioral area and the chin in the younger group and in the chin and the forehead in the older group. Compared to the older group, the younger group showed a slower stratum corneum turnover in the nose and the neck. This study demonstrates the regional and the age-related variability of the stratum corneum turnover and the skin reactions to HN. These observations may help explain some aspects of the cutaneous intolerance in skin care of the face.