Antihistamines and the Skin Barrier

Publication: Topical antihistamines display potent anti-inflammatory activity linked in part to enhanced permeability barrier function.
Lin TK, Man MQ, Santiago JL, Park K, Roelandt T, Oda Y, Hupe M, Crumrine D, Lee HJ, Gschwandtner M, Thyssen JP, Trullas C, Tschachler E, Feingold KR, Elias PM.
J Invest Dermatol. 2013 Feb;133(2):469-78. . Epub 2012 Sep 27.

Synopsis and Significance: Usually, antihistamines are given by mouth to reduce itch.  Although they also have potent anti-inflammatory activity in tissue culture, this has not been observed when they are taken orally.  Because we have  identified high levels of histamine receptors in the epidermis, we hypothesized that they might be more effective if administered directly to the skin. We show here that topical antihistamines not only improve skin barrier function, but they also display potent anti-inflammatory activity in mouse models of several different skin diseases, such as atopic dermatitis.  These studies could lead to a paradigm shift in the ways that antihistamines are used to treat skin disorders in the future (i.e., as topical rather than internally-administered agents).  This work was recently feature on an Allure post.

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