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J Invest Dermatol. 1990 Mar;94(3):347-52.

Properties of transdermal histamine iontophoresis: differential effects of season, gender, and body region.

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  • 1Institut für Physiologie und Biokybernetik, University of Erlangen, F.R.G.


Histamine iontophoresis is demonstrated to be a reliable model for the study of inflammatory skin responses. It has the advantage of a non-invasive and uniform mode of application and is free of unwanted side effects. The wheal and flare responses to histamine are linearly related to dose over a wide range of stimulus strengths (r = 0.88). In summer, wheal responses were smaller, probably due to increased thickness of the epidermis. Female subjects generally expressed larger wheal responses than males, presumably due to differences in epidermal thickness and structure. There were significant regional differences in wheal, flare, and laser Doppler recorded flux responses. Ratings of itch sensations also showed clear, but less pronounced, differences of body regions. Significant regional differences of wheal and flare responses existed. Sensory discrimination of different stimulus levels was demonstrated with visual analogue scale ratings.

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