Feb. 28, 2008 -- Dust mites and cockroach allergens may make it harder for
skin to heal, South Korean researchers report.
In their lab, the researchers made extracts of household dust mites and
cockroach allergens. They tested the dust mite extract on six healthy adults
who didn't have eczema.
To mimic eczema's damaging effect on skin, participants got tape peeled off
their forearm skin several times. Then the researchers applied a bit of the
dust mite extract to the skin and saw how long the skin took to heal from the
Their skin was weaker for the first three hours after the allergen was
applied. That effect faded within a few more hours.
The researchers also conducted a similar experiment on mice exposed to dust
mite and cockroach allergens. The mice's skin healed slower after exposure to
Lastly, the researchers used an experimental drug to block an enzyme called
PAR-2. That helped damaged skin heal faster despite the presence of dust mite
or cockroach allergens.
The researchers included Se Kyoo Jeong of Yonsei University College of
Medicine in Seoul, South Korea.
Their study appears in today's online edition of the Journal of