A study from the University of California, Riverside, found that dermal exposure to third-hand smoke, or THS, and the nicotine concentrations found in electronic cigarette spills can cause skin damage.
THS, of which nicotine is a major component, is created when cigarette smoke and fumes settle on surfaces such as clothing, hair, furniture and cars. Not strictly smoking, THS refers to the residue left behind by smoking. “Electronic cigarette spills” are e-liquid spills that can result from leaking electronic cigarette products or when consumers and sellers mix e-liquids for refillable electronic cigarettes.
Study results show Atmospheremagazine.
“We found that cutaneous contact with nicotine can impede wound healing, increase susceptibility to skin infections due to decreased immune responses, and cause oxidative stress in skin cells,” said Giovanna Pozuelos, who graduated with a doctorate degree from UC Riverside earlier this year. in cell, molecular and developmental biology.
Epiderm was studied usingtm, a 3D model of human epidermis, and cultured human keratinocytes. Keratinocytes are epidermal cells that produce keratin, a protein found in hair and nails. Researchers uncover epidermtm Nicotine concentrations varying for 24 hours are commonly found in THS environments and electronic cigarette spills. The researchers then proceeded to identify the processes and pathways that were changed by the exposure. They investigated nicotine’s effect on cellular organelles, mitochondria and peroxisomes – organelles containing enzymes involved in many metabolic reactions.
According to Pozuelos, those most susceptible include skin conditions such as ulcers or arterial ulcers related to diabetes.
“Dermal contact with nicotine residues may hinder wound healing of such skin lesions and increase susceptibility to pathogenic skin infections,” she said. “Children and infants who crawl on contaminated surfaces or have frequent contact with indoor surfaces are particularly susceptible to high cutaneous exposure. Employers who work in highly THS-contaminated environments, such as casinos where indoor smoking allowed, may be exposed for months or even years.”
Fortunately, the changes in the mitochondria of human keratinocytes exposed to nicotine for 24 hours are reversible.
“Avoiding frequent dermal exposure to THS-contaminated environments and handling electronic cigarette e-liquid properly can help skin heal,” said coauthor Prue Talbot, a professor of cell biology who advised Pozuelos on the study. “It’s important to note that a relatively short exposure — 24 hours in our study — is enough to cause skin damage.”
Pozuelos stressed that the severity of skin damage depends on both the duration of exposure and the nicotine concentration.
“Both THS and electronic cigarette spills and leaks can be harmful,” she said. “THS exposure to someone living in a THS-contaminated home can be chronic, leading to persistent cutaneous exposure. Sellers and consumers who handle or use electronic cigarettes with high nicotine concentrations may also be highly exposed.”
Pozuelos advises consumers and sellers handling electronic cigarettes to minimize dermal contact by wearing adequate protective gear and properly cleaning contaminated areas.
“Policies need to be implemented to ban indoor smoking and vaping, and to address the contaminated environment,” she said.
The study was funded by the UC Tobacco-Related Diseases Research Program and the UCR Academic Senate. Funders played no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or manuscript preparation.
Pozuelos and Talbot were included in the UCR study by Matin Rubin, Samantha Vargas, Eric Ramirez, Dhiresh Bandaru and Jihui Sha; and James Wohlschlegel at UCLA.