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The skin-blanching assay


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Correspondence: P. Smit. E-mail:


The skin-blanching assay is used for the determination and bioequivalence of dermatologic glucocorticoids (GCs). The exact mechanism of the production of blanching is not fully understood, but it is considered that local vasoconstriction of the skin microvasculature and the consequent blood-flow reduction cause this phenomenon. Several factors influence skin blanching, including drug concentration, duration of application, nature of vehicle, occlusion, posture and location. The intensity of vasoconstriction can be measured in several ways: visual or quantitative methods, such as reflectance spectroscopy, thermography, laser Doppler velocimetry and chromametry. In literature, contradicting results in the correlation of the skin-blanching assay with different tests to determine GC sensitivity have been reported, limiting its clinical usefulness.

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