A Dermatological View: Tandem Irritants With Synergistic, Additive or Quenching Effects on the Skin

Sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) has often been chosen as a model for irritant contact dermatitis (ICD) to study the effect of water-soluble irritants in combination. Recently tandem—i.e., sequential—exposures with SLS have been performed to study the mechanism of skin barrier impairment in ICD. In this article the results of six published tandem irritation studies are evaluated; possible mechanisms and clinical ramifications, albeit complex, are discussed. The clinical relevance of tandem irritation among cosmetics users and in many occupational settings appears obvious and suggests the need for further studies clarifying its principles and mechanisms.

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