Studies of the permeability and absorptivity of the skin have engaged the interest of dermatologists from time to time, because since ancient days the management of most cutaneous diseases has been dependent in a large part on local and topical treatment. According to Eller and Wolff,1 these studies have established that:
Medicaments applied to the unbroken skin may be absorbed into the blood stream.
The rate of absorption may be influenced by the vehicle as well as by the drug it contains.
Volatile substances such as alcohol, ether and benzine are vehicles with a much higher rate of absorption than fats.
Eller and Wolff1 in their own studies on permeability and absorptivity of the skin came to the following conclusions:
Fats permeate the skin and do so in a large measure along the hair shafts and into the oil gland ducts.
DUEMLING WW. WETTING AGENTS: NEW SYNTHETIC CHEMICALS OF USE IN FINER AND MORE EFFICIENT TOPICAL DERMATOLOGIC THERAPY. Arch Derm Syphilol. 1941;43(2):264–280. doi:10.1001/archderm.1941.01490200044005
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