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  Issue 2 (2001)

GD News
Active substance Pantothenyl Alcohol:
Equally important - good Tolerability and Effectiveness

Even though medicinal and cosmetic agents do not become better and better as good red wines do with progressing age, yet at times they experience a generally positive assessment in science after having been used in the course of decades. A current example is the active substance pantothenyl alcohol: introduced over fifty years ago in the wound-healing therapy, there are only recently study results which back up the concept of the actual effectiveness. The dermatologist Professor Dr. med. Hans Christian Korting of the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich emphasized this fact on the occasion of the 5th Annual Meeting of the Gesellschaft für Dermopharmazie (GD) in Zurich on 28 March.

After absorption in skin, pantothenyl alcohol is transformed into pantothenic acid (vitamin B5). Therefore, the effects of the pantothenic acid in skin can be induced by the application of pantothenyl alcohol. Pantothenic acid is an integral ingredient of the coenzyme A, a key molecule of the cellular metabolism. Owing to the consumption of coenzyme A being relatively high especially in skin, the pantothenic acid is considered to be essential for the normal function of the epidermis. In case of disturbances of the epidermis the requirement of this substance increases significantly.

For a long time already there has been evidence based on in vitro analyses that pantothenyl alcohol exerts a positive influence on epithelial cells. Furthermore, according to a so-called classic study on dermatopharmacokinetics it is known that the active substance is in a position to penetrate the skin after topical application. In contrast, insights relating to the actual dermatological benefit of the substance could only be gained recently.: Korting cited in Zurich a study by Presto and colleagues, recently published in a magazine for dermatological diseases according to which for a hand care cream containing five percent pantothenyl alcohol a statistically significant acceleration of an epidermal regeneration has been found towards placebo as well as towards the control in an established wound-healing model. Major target parameter of this examination was the transepidermal waterloss (TEWL) which is increased at an impairment of the epidermal barrier in contrast to the normal condition.

Professor Dr. med. Hans Christian Korting quoted current study results concerning the effectiveness of the active substance pantothenyl alcohol used for dermatological drugs and cosmetics on the occasion of a press conversation within the frame of the 5th GD's annual meeting in Zurich on 28 March.

Korting takes the view that against the background of the study at issue and other studies published in the past it can be assumed today that pantothenyl alcohol is not only a very tolerable but also a very effective substance which can be used for dermatological drugs and cosmetical preparations. This equally applies to the field of healing of superficial wounds already taken for a long time as also to all skin conditions connected with an impaired epidermal barrier function. The latter for example is the case for neurodermitis and irritative lesions of skin in the professional sector.


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