Author(s): Imayama S, Ueda S, Isoda M
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Abstract OBJECTIVE: To clarify the histologic alterations produced by the application of salicylic acid solution, which has been used effectively in chemical peeling without producing a wound or inflammation. DESIGN: We applied 7.5\%, 15.0\%, and 30.0\% salicylic acid in solutions of ethanol or macrogol to the backs of hairless mice for 20 minutes. The skin was histologically evaluated immediately and at 1, 3, 12, 24, and 48 hours following treatment. SETTING: The Department of Dermatology, Faculty of Medicine, Kyushu University, Fukuoka, Japan. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: A loss of cornified cells was the only morphologic alteration associated with the treatment, and was followed by the activation of the epidermal basal cells and the underlying fibroblasts. RESULTS: The 7.5\% and 15. 0\% salicylic acid solutions produced few histologic changes, whereas the 30.0\% salicylic acid in both vehicles macerated and then exfoliated the cornified cells. As the epidermis became thinner, the residual epidermal cells became flattened and were rearranged parallel to the tensile surface load. The cornified material within the hair follicles also became macerated, dilated the follicles, and then dropped off. An apparent increase occurred in the number of cells in the S phase in the epidermal basal cells in 24 hours, leaving the follicular cells unchanged. As the cornified layer thickened in 48 hours, the epidermal cells below it and the underlying fibroblasts resumed their random pretherapy arrangement. Except for the occasional infiltrate of lymphocytes, no degenerative or inflammatory changes occurred. While similar changes occurred with each vehicle, they were relatively faster with the ethanol preparations. CONCLUSION: The present results suggest that the architecture of the epidermis and the papillary dermis can be regenerated by simply injuring the cornified layer by using topical agents such as salicylic acid that do not cause degeneration or inflammation.
This article was published in Arch Dermatol
and referenced in Journal of Clinical & Experimental Dermatology Research