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Br J Dermatol. 2005 Dec;153(6):1096-100.

The dual action of ozone on the skin.

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1
Department of Physiology, University of Siena, Siena 53100, Italy. gvalacchi@ucdavis.edu

Abstract

The aim of this brief review is to summarize the recent literature on the effect of ozone (O3) on cutaneous tissues. Recently it has been reported that a chronic contact with O3 can be deleterious for the skin. Our group and others have shown a progressive depletion of antioxidant content in the stratum corneum and this can then lead to a cascade of effects resulting in an active cellular response in the deeper layers of the skin. Using an in vivo model we have shown an increase of proliferative, adaptive and proinflammatory cutaneous tissue responses. On the other hand the well known activity of O3 as a potent disinfectant and oxygen (O2) donor has been also studied for therapeutic use. Two approaches have been described. The first consists of a quasi-total body exposure in a thermostatically controlled cabin. This treatment has proved to be useful in patients with chronic limb ischaemia. The second approach is based on the topical application of ozonated olive oil in several kinds of skin infection (from soreness to diabetic ulcers, burns, traumatic and surgical wounds, abscesses and skin reactions after radiotherapy). We and other authors have observed a striking cleansing effect with improved oxygenation and enhanced healing of these conditions. It is now clear that, on the skin, O3, like other drugs, poisons and radiation, can display either a damaging effect from a long exposure or a beneficial effect after a brief exposure to O2 and O3 or to the application of ozonated oil to chronic wounds.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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