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Br J Dermatol. 2019 Jan 13. doi: 10.1111/bjd.17633. [Epub ahead of print]

Anatomical Site Differences of Sodium Laurylsulphate Induced Irritation: randomised controlled trial.

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Department of Pharmacy, University of Split School of Medicine, Šoltanska 2, 21000, Split, Croatia.
Split-Dalmatia County Pharmacy, Kneza Ljudevita Posavskog 12 b, 21000, Split, Croatia.
Department of Dermatovenerology, University of Split School of Medicine, Šoltanska 2, 21000, Split, Croatia.



Sodium laurylsulphate (SLS) induced contact dermatitis is a commonly used model for testing effects of different topical formulations. Volar forearms are preferred testing site by the guidelines, but other anatomical locations were used in previous research, especially upper back, as the clinically used site for testing different antigens.


Aim of the present study was to investigate existence of anatomical variations of skin response to irritation and its' effects on response to treatment.


Irritation was induced with SLS on symmetrical sites on both forearms and sides of upper back with additional sites exposed to water as controls. Half of the sites were treated with emollient cream while the other half were left untreated. Irritation was assessed using bioengineering methods and clinical scoring.


Upper back skin showed higher reactivity to irritants with stronger barrier disruption (measured by Tewameter, 80·2±18·3 vs 48·0±24·2 gm-2 h-1 ), more pronounced erythema (measured by Mexameter, 186·5±88·4 vs 92·1±58·2 AU) and dryness (measured by Corneometer, -28·6±14·5 vs 2·7±16·9 AU). Skin recovery rates were also influenced by anatomical location with the upper back showing faster recovery (316·7±223·1 vs 156·2±198·5). Treatment didn't lead to improvement in measured parameters, regardless of anatomical location.


Skins' reaction to irritant and recovery were dependant on anatomical location. Location where testing was conducted should always be reported as treatments tested across different locations could not be directly compared to each other. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.


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