Back to search results

Investigative Report

Pathophysiological Study of Sensitive Skin

Virginie Buhé, Katell Vié, Christelle Guéré, Audrey Natalizio, Céline Lhéritier, Christelle Le Gall-Ianotto, Flavien Huet, Matthieu Talagas, Nicolas Lebonvallet, Pascale Marcorelles, Jean-Luc Carré, Laurent Misery
DOI: 10.2340/00015555-2235


Sensitive skin is a clinical syndrome characterized by the occurrence of unpleasant sensations, such as pruritus, burning or pain, in response to various factors, including skincare products, water, cold, heat, or other physical and/or chemical factors. Although these symptoms suggest inflammation and the activation of peripheral innervation, the pathophysiogeny of sensitive skin remains unknown. We systematically analysed cutaneous biopsies from 50 healthy women with non-sensitive or sensitive skin and demonstrated that the intraepidermal nerve fibre density, especially that of peptidergic C-fibres, was lower in the sensitive skin group. These fibres are involved in pain, itching and temperature perception, and their degeneration may promote allodynia and similar symptoms. These results suggest that the pathophysiology of skin sensitivity resembles that of neuropathic pruritus within the context of small fibre neuropathy, and that environmental factors may alter skin innervation.


Supplementary content


Not logged in! You need to login/create an account to comment on articles. Click here to login/create an account.