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Article
September 1942

ABSORPTION OF VITAMIN A THROUGH HUMAN SKIN

Author Affiliations

BROOKLYN

Fellow in Ophthalmology.

From the Department of Ophthalmology, Long Island College of Medicine.

Arch Derm Syphilol. 1942;46(3):431-442. doi:10.1001/archderm.1942.01500150097012
Abstract

It is generally conceded that vitamin A can be absorbed through the skin.1 However, the only direct evidence for this consists of such animal experiments as have recently been reported by Helmer and Jansen2 and by Eddy and Howell3; in the case of the intact human skin the evidence is more meager. Mackie and Eddy4 found a rise in the vitamin A level of the blood following the application of cod liver oil to the skin in chronic ulcerative colitis with poor intestinal absorption.

In order to test whether physiologically significant absorption can take place through the human skin, we performed dietary experiments on 17 young men.5 During the course of dietary vitamin A depletion, ointments containing vitamin A were applied to the skin of the subjects; the status of vitamin A nutrition was studied by means of dark adaptation measurements. The Hecht-Shlaer instrument6

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