Sequential application of cold and sodium lauryl sulphate decreases irritation and barrier disruption in vivo in humans.Br J Dermatol. 2005 Apr; 152(4):702-8.BJ
Irritant contact dermatitis (ICD) is one of the most frequent types of occupational dermatitis. Different factors are involved in the development of contact dermatitis. In the food-processing industry, the combined exposure to different irritants may be involved in the development of ICD. Few data have been published regarding the irritant potential of sodium lauryl sulphate (SLS) in combination with cold.
The present study was intended to analyse whether cold exposure and low skin temperature influence the development of ICD.
Twenty (part I) and 12 (part II) healthy volunteers were exposed twice daily for 4 days to SLS alone, different low temperatures alone (4 degrees C six times for 90 s with an interval of 20 s or 15 degrees C for 10 min) or a combination of cold and SLS (19.6 microL SLS 1% cm(-2), part I; or 52.6 microL SLS 0.5% cm(-2), part II) using the tandem repetitive irritation test. Irritant cutaneous reactions were measured by noninvasive biophysical methods with transepidermal water loss as a parameter for permeability barrier function and skin colour reflectance together with visual scoring as parameters for inflammatory reactions.
Cold alone caused no significant skin reaction compared with untreated control. Exposure to SLS alone and SLS together with cold (independent of the applied temperature of 4 or 15 degrees C) twice daily induced a clear irritant reaction and barrier disturbance. Reactions did not differ whether SLS was applied before or after cold. Furthermore, 'tandem application' of cold and SLS diminished the barrier disruption and irritant reaction compared with SLS alone.
We conclude that the application of cold may have a protective effect on the development of ICD, at least in our short-term model.