Phospholipids, specially phosphatidylcholine, for topical treatment of the skin

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'The findings that liposomes made from vegetable phosphatidylcholine (PC) enhance the uptake of drug substances into the skin, generated much scientific interest. As a result today several topical drugs and cosmetic products are available. For the future it is useful to revise the following points of interest, which are specially relevant for industrial development: efficacy, documentation and safety, availability and price, ierminology. As in oral drugs (Lipostabil, Essentiale), PC may be used as a drug substance also in skin treatment. In rtcne effected skin PC, with a high content of linoleic acid, has a benefitial effect and reduces the squalene concentration of the surface lipids. Therefore PC can be regarded as active in dermatology or in cosmetic. On the other hand PC in form of liposome, mixed micelle or in emulsion is used as a excipient. The important factor for differentiation is the dosage: as active over 0,5 mg PC per cm2 should be used. Up to now only the following PLs are used in drugs: PC an PC fractions from soybean and egg, hydrogenaled PC from soybean. Only the above PC products from soybean are used in topical drugs and in cosmetics. Documentation on safety and longtime experience in topical use is only available for PC an for PC fractions originated from soybean lecilhine. These products are available in several hundred tons scale an their price is accepted for pharmaceutical and cosmetical use. 1 or product documentation and registration the correct terminology should be used. Lecithine is the name for a mixture of phospholipids, oil, carbohydrates, sterols, which is gained in oil mills by the oilseed processing. In this mixture approx. 16 % phosphatidylcholine, PC, is contained. PC is frequently and misleading named also lecithine, causing confusion in the course of documentation.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages1
JournalSkin Pharmacology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 1996


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dermatology
  • Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics(all)
  • Pharmacology (medical)

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