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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Differences of skin irritation between Japanese and European women.

BACKGROUND: After using cosmetics, Japanese women frequently complain about sensitive, stinging skin. We wondered whether Japanese women's skin is more sensitive than that of Caucasians. OBJECTIVES: To examine possible racial differences of skin irritation and subjective sensations. METHODS: We performed patch testing on the forearm with sodium lauryl sulphate (SLS) at different concentrations (0.25%, 0.5%) and 24-h exposure time. Skin reaction was evaluated by measurement of transepidermal water loss (TEWL), stratum corneum hydration, sebum secretion, laser Doppler flowmetry (LD), content of melanin and erythema. During a stinging test with 10% lactic acid (applied to one side of the cheeks) the subjects were asked to describe the present intensity of any sensation. We used a Chromameter to measure skin colour before and after application of lactic acid. This study was performed in Marburg, Germany, with healthy Japanese and German women living in Marburg. RESULTS: After SLS testing, we found no significant differences of the barrier function in the stratum corneum, but we found significant subjective sensory differences between Japanese and German women. CONCLUSIONS: Japanese women may complain about stronger sensations reflecting a different cultural behaviour rather than measurable differences in skin physiology; however, a faster penetration of SLS in Japanese cannot be excluded.[1]


  1. Differences of skin irritation between Japanese and European women. Aramaki, J., Kawana, S., Effendy, I., Happle, R., Löffler, H. Br. J. Dermatol. (2002) [Pubmed]
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