Blackwell Publishing Journal Backfiles 1879-2005
Adverse skin reactions cover many types of response: toxic, irritant, allergic, urticarial, sensory, etc. The relationships between an individual's tendency to develop different types of skin response are not well-described. We examined whether those who perceive stinging might be more likely to experience urticarial, sensory and irritation reactions in skin. A panel of 86 volunteers was tested with 10% lactic acid in the nasolabial fold to assess their ability to perceive stinging. At the same time, their capacity to develop non-immunologic contact urticaria was evaluated using chemicals of different structural type and urticant ability: methyl nicotinate, benzoic acid, cinnamic acid, cinnamaldehyde and dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO). DMSO was also used to assess sensory effects and skin irritation. 44 were classed as “stingers” and 42 as “non-stingers”. The pattern of urticant reactivity in the stingers and non-stingers was essentially the same, with neat DMSO generating the strongest reactions in both groups. Sensory reactions to DMSO (stinging, itching, tingling or burning) were similar in stingers and non-stingers; although the former may have reacted more quickly, a smaller proportion reacted (64% versus 76%). The skin irritation response to DMSO was also identical in stingers and non-stingers and the intensity of the urticant response in an individual did not correlate with the intensity of their subsequent irritant reaction. In conclusion, this study demonstrated that an individual's ability to perceive skin stinging does not give a general indication of their susceptibility to other types of non-immunologic skin response. Indeed, there appeared to be little evidence of correlations between any of the skin effects studied.
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