Blood Vessel Reactivity

Several studies have investigated racial blood vessel reactivity as an assessment of skin physiology, irritation, evaluation of dermatologie pathology/treatments, effects and delivery of drugs, and wound healing. Earlier evaluation of cutaneous microcirculation depended on visual scoring to assess erythema or pallor (blanching), which has been proven to be unreliable. Two techniques, laser Doppler velocimetry (LDV) and photoplethysmography (PPG), can measure cutaneous blood flow. LDV has been utilized in skin physiology research, diagnostics, predictive testing of irritancy of substances (cosmetics, cleansing agents, topical medications, etc.), and cutaneous effects of drugs. PPG has been applied to skin physiology studies, dermatological disorders, and systemic diseases (16,17).

Table 4 summarizes the findings of six studies of blood vessel reactivity in blacks, whites, Hispanics, and Asians (4,5,7,17-19). Each study involved the administration of different vasodilating or vasoconstricting substances, thus, the results cannot be compared. However, each study, except for Berardesca et al. (5), found some variation in blood vessel reactivity when comparing Hispanics and whites. These findings are indicative of disparities in irritation, dermatotoxicology, and dermatopharmacology among different ethnic groups.

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