Send to

Choose Destination
Pathol Biol (Paris). 1992 Feb;40(2):196-204.

[Skin metabolism].

[Article in French]

Author information

CIRD Galderma, Valbonne, France.


The skin, one of the organs which accounts for the largest proportion of total body weight, was long viewed only as a passive physical barrier between the body from the environment. Over the last ten years, many studies have demonstrated significant metabolic processes in the skin, due in particular to the effects of enzymes which are located mainly in the epidermis. This skin metabolism has a marked effect on percutaneous penetration of xenobiotics. In this review, enzyme activities detected in the skin and their location in the various skin layers are discussed, as well as the different in vitro and in vivo models for studying skin metabolism. Pharmacologic or toxic effects of active ingredients or their metabolites may be associated with the nature and magnitude of transformations of xenobiotics in the skin (first pass effect). The impact of skin metabolism on the effects of topically applied drugs and the factors capable of modulating skin biotransformations are discussed. The main difficulties faced by skin metabolism studies stem from the relatively complex structure of skin and in the low levels of enzymatic activities.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Loading ...
Support Center