Stimulation of the penetration of topically applied substances into the skin is a topic of intensive dermatological and pharmacological research. Next to intercellular penetration, i.e. a penetration inside the lipid layers around the corneocytes, follicular penetration also represents an efficient penetration pathway. The hair follicles act as a long-term reservoir for topically applied substances. They are surrounded by or contain several important target structures, such as blood capillaries, stem cells and dendritic cells. Therefore, the hair follicles have to be well protected from hazardous substances coming into contact with the skin. The traditional method of decontamination of the skin involves an intensive washing procedure. However, this process represents a massage, which pushes the hazardous substances even deeper into the hair follicles. In the present study, the application of absorbing materials for decontamination of the skin was investigated after the application of a model substance utilizing the tape-stripping procedure. It was found that absorbing materials are better suited than the washing process for decontamination of the skin.

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