Hormesis and Cosmetic Dermatology

Mar 1, 2009 | Contact Author | By: Haw-Yueh Thong, MD, MS, Department of Dermatology of National Taiwan University Hospital; and Howard I. Maibach, MD, University of California School of Medicine
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Title: Hormesis and Cosmetic Dermatology
hormesisx dermatologyx
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Keywords: hormesis | dermatology

Abstract: This review examines hormetic effects of various agents on skin biology. Recognition of this emerging biological phenomenon in dermatology could lead to markedly improved integrative assessments of animal/human skin responses to toxic substances and pharmacological agents, as well as endogenous agonists.

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Skin is a complex biological model that is nonetheless highly approachable. Several methods exist to study it, including animal skin and human skin, both in vitro and in vivo models; regional variation models; and stem cell and hair follicle biological models. Through such models, pharmaceutical preparations in dermatology have been found to affect cell regulation. However, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) usually exempts dose justifications for dermatologic preparations. With oral and parenteral dosing, dose justification is generally done during phase II. With topicals, a relatively arbitrary percentage is often dosed—without the benefit of dose justifications. As a result, the presence of any hormetic effects could be missed.

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Table 1. Examples of Hormesis on Skin

Examples of Hormesis in Skin

A brief listing of these cell types, relationships and the quantitative features of dose responses is presented in Table 1.

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