The temperature effect on in vitro penetration of sodium lauryl sulfate and nickel chloride through human skin.
Emilson A, Lindberg M, Forslind B.
Irritant contact dermatitis is a major problem in dermatology. One important group of substances causing irritant dermatitis is detergents. Exposure of the skin to detergents is frequent in both work and domestic environments. In the present paper we have studied how the penetration through the skin, and thus the effect, of the detergent sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) is altered when the temperature is raised from 22 degrees C to 40 degrees C or 60 degrees C. We found that the penetration of sodium lauryl sulfate increased with increasing temperature. When comparing the increased penetration of sodium lauryl sulfate with the change in NiCl penetration at the same temperatures, we found that the increase in penetration was more pronounced for the detergent. This implies that the detergent also had a different effect on the structure and function of the epidermal barrier itself. The results underline the importance of choosing the right (low) temperature when working with detergent solutions to reduce the risk of developing irritant contact reactions.