Salt water and skin interactions: new lines of evidence

Authors: Carbajo JM (1) , Maraver F (1,2)
(1) Department of Radiology, Rehabilitation and Physiotherapy, Faculty of Medicine, Universidad Complutense de Madrid (2) Professional School of Medical Hydrology, Medicine Faculty, Complutense Un. Madrid
Source: Int J Biometeorol. 2018 Apr 19
DOI: 10.1007/s00484-018-1545-z Publication date: Not specified E-Publication date: April 19, 2018 Availability: abstract Copyright: © ISB 2018
Language: English Countries: Not specified Location: Not specified Correspondence address:


Article abstract

In Health Resort Medicine, both balneotherapy and thalassotherapy, salt waters and their peloids, or mud products are mainly used to treat rheumatic and skin disorders. These therapeutic agents act jointly via numerous mechanical, thermal, and chemical mechanisms. In this review, we examine a new mechanism of action specific to saline waters. When topically administered, this water rich in sodium and chloride penetrates the skin where it is able to modify cellular osmotic pressure and stimulate nerve receptors in the skin via cell membrane ion channels known as "Piezo" proteins. We describe several models of cutaneous adsorption/desorption and penetration of dissolved ions in mineral waters through the skin (osmosis and cell volume mechanisms in keratinocytes) and examine the role of these resources in stimulating cutaneous nerve receptors. The actions of salt mineral waters are mediated by a mechanism conditioned by the concentration and quality of their salts involving cellular osmosis-mediated activation/inhibition of cell apoptotic or necrotic processes. In turn, this osmotic mechanism modulates the recently described mechanosensitive piezoelectric channels.

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