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Hohenstein scientists determine causes of skin irritation

Jul '07
BONNIGHEIM (ri) Skin irritation amongst people wearing textiles is a grounds for complaint and it was often difficult to find a satisfactory reason for this skin irritation in the past. Until now there was no means of tracing back the causes of skin irritation to mechanical or chemical effects.

Researchers at the Hohenstein Institutes made great progress in this within the scope of the AIF research project no. 14655 N/1 “Tests to eliminate me-chanically triggered skin irritation by textile fabrics”. It was therefore possible to develop a direct in-vitro detection system for skin irritation for the first time.

Using this system, mechanically-triggered skin irritation can be deter-mined, virtually in a test tube, such as that caused by projecting fibres. By combining this with biological in-vitro tests, chemical irritation factors can also be unequivocally ruled out.

Hohenstein researchers have also recently begun to combine these reliable and cost-effective in-vitro methods with tried-and-tested in-vivo wear tests, known from dermatology, using volunteers. Dr. Dirk Höfer's team is therefore able to analyse the possible irritation potential of textiles throughout Ger-many for the first time on a reliable, scientific basis.

A group of volunteers is therefore wearing the textile samples on the skin of the upper arm for two days under medical supervision. The skin reactions are then accurately categorised dermatologically and using skin-physiological measurements and compared with each other. The test is based on the classic epicutaneous test, also known as the patch test.

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