Vulnerability of reactive skin to electric current perception – a pilot study implicating mast cells and the lymphatic microvasculature
Article first published online: 1 SEP 2009
© 2009 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology
Volume 8, Issue 3, pages 186–189, September 2009
How to Cite
Quatresooz, P., Piérard-Franchimont, C. and Piérard, G. E. (2009), Vulnerability of reactive skin to electric current perception – a pilot study implicating mast cells and the lymphatic microvasculature. Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, 8: 186–189. doi: 10.1111/j.1473-2165.2009.00445.x
- Issue published online: 1 SEP 2009
- Article first published online: 1 SEP 2009
- Accepted for publication June 7, 2009
- sensitive skin;
- mast cell;
- lymphatic vessel;
- sensory irritation
Background/objective Sensitive/reactive skin is regarded as a manifestation of sensory irritation. This susceptibility condition to various exogenous factors suggests the intervention of some neuropeptides and other neurobiological mediators. Mast cells are among the putative implicated cells.
Method The present immunohistochemical and morphometric study was performed on two groups of 36 gender- and age-matched subjects complaining or not from reactive skin as determined by electric current perception. In the mid upper part of the dermis, the numerical density in mast cells and the size of the microvasculature were assessed distinguishing the blood and lymphatic vessels.
Results Globally, the distributions of data were large in reactive skin. This condition was characterized by a prominent increase in both the numerical density in mast cells and the overall size of the lymphatics. By contrast, no difference was found in the size of cutaneous blood vessels. More precisely, it appeared that a subgroup of people with reactive skin exhibited these changes contrasting with some other individuals whose data remained close to the normal range.
Conclusion Mast cells and lymphatics are probably involved in the process of sensory irritation affecting a subgroup of the population.