No Increased Skin Reactivity in Subjects with Allergic Rhinitis During the Active Phase of the Disease: Clinical Report
Andrea Conti, Stefania Seidenari
Data on skin reactivity in patients with respiratory atopy without atopic dermatitis are scarce and controversial. Our purpose was to assess whether skin reactivity in patients with seasonal allergic rhinitis varies according to the phase of the disease and the possible release of inflammatory mediators acting on the skin during the pollen season. The volar forearm skin of eleven patients with seasonal allergic rhinitis without atopic dermatitis was challenged with a single exposure to sodium lauryl sulfate. The skin response was evaluated instrumentally over 72 h by transepidermal water loss, capacitance and echogenicity measurements for the assessment of skin damage and the inflammatory response. Tests were performed in winter and repeated in spring in seasonal allergic rhinitis patients, when they showed respiratory symptoms. Fifteen subjects with atopic dermatitis underwent the same experimental procedure in winter as a control population. Baseline and postexposure values were similar both in winter and in spring in seasonal allergic rhinitis patients. After sodium lauryl sulfate challenge, atopic dermatitis patients showed a higher degree of skin barrier damage and inflammation compared to patients with seasonal allergic rhinitis. These findings suggest that subjects with seasonal allergic rhinitis without atopic dermatitis have normal epidermal barrier function and normal skin reactivity during both the inactive and the active phase of the disease. Inflammatory mediators possibly released by mucous membranes during active allergic rhinitis do not influence skin barrier function.