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

Neurogenic flare responses following topical application of capsaicin in humans.

The flare response to noxious stimulation of the skin is mediated by polymodal nociceptors of C fiber primary afferent nerves. Topical application of capsaicin initiates a flare response and burning pain. In this study, the variability of capsaicin-induced flare and pain was assessed in 220 subjects. The major factors in flare response are body site and age; more severe reactions occur in more proximal sites and in younger subjects. Larger flares were shown to be associated with greater pain. Variability is probably due to differences in the structure and reactivity of the neurovascular unit as proposed in the Lewis model of the axon reflex. It may prove possible to assess polymodal nociceptor function using topical capsaicin in disease states that affect the peripheral terminals of primary afferent nerves.[1]


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