• Jürgen Fuchs


Sulfur, mercury, tar, arsenic, and complex products of plant origin were used as therapeutic agents in dermatology for several hundred years by physicians. In the past decade, many new drugs have been introduced in dermatological therapy and old drugs are being used in new ways. Some of them have antioxidant or prooxidant effects in vitro, others act in a dualistic mode. The clinical relevance of oxidative imbalance in the pathogenesis of skin diseases can be studied by analyzing the reaction mechanisms of antioxidant or prooxidant drugs used in the treatment of specific disorders. Conversely, pharmacological aspects of antioxidant/prooxidant drugs can be investigated in human or animal skin, which may be more relevant for pathophysiology. Roberfroid et al. postulated that drugs which specifically rebalance free-radical-mediated pathological processes may be useful in the treatment of diseases whose pathogenesis significantly involves reactive oxidants and free radicals (1987). There are certain limitations, however, in elucidating a drug reaction mechanism in complex biological systems. The in vivo effects of drugs can be different from their in vitro effects. Furthermore, the in vivo effect may result from a number of actions on different cell populations implicated in the various diseases, and no single unifying mechanism of action may be apparent. It is, therefore, difficult to extrapolate from in vitro studies to in vivo drug pharmacodynamics.


Reactive Oxygen Species Singlet Oxygen Benzoyl Peroxide Pyoderma Gangrenosum Bullous Pemphigoid 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jürgen Fuchs
    • 1
  1. 1.Zentrum der Dermatologie und Venerologie Abteilung IIKlinikum der Johann Wolfgang Goethe-UniversitätFrankfurt 70Germany

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