The irritant effects of pharmaceutically applied surfactants

Gábor Erős, Zsuzsanna Kurgyis, István Balázs Németh, Eszter Csizmazia, Szilvia Berkó, Piroska Szabó-Révész, Lajos Kemény, Erzsébet Csányi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Citations (Scopus)


Dermal or transdermal medication may lead to irritant contact dermatitis. However, little information is available on the irritant effect of surfactants which are applied in topical formulations. Our aim was to examine the irritant effect of the most frequent compounds in topical products. A murine model was applied. The following compounds were examined: sodium lauryl sulphate (SLS), polyethoxylated (40EO) hydrogenated castor oil and sucrose laurate. SLS led to severe erythema, increase in transepidermal water loss (TEWL) and induced necrosis and accumulation of neutrophylic granulocytes and lymphocytes. Exposure to sucrose laurate resulted in an elevation of TEWL, but histology did not reveal impairment of the skin structure. Application of polyethoxylated (40EO) hydrogenated castor oil was not accompanied by tissue damage. Special attention should be paid to the irritant effect of SLS. Polyethoxylated (40EO) hydrogenated castor oil seems to be a non-irritant agent and sucrose laurate is also a promising candidate for application in topical preparations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)67-70
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Surfactants and Detergents
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2014


  • Anionic surfactants
  • Application of surfactants
  • Non-ionic surfactants

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films

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