The term comedogenic refers to the ability of substances to induce horny impactions, that is, comedones. The rabbit ear has long served as a model for assaying comedogenic materials. However, we now realize that this assay can provide a good deal more information. One must first distinguish between dense (comedonal) and loose (hyperproliferative) horn. This cannot be judged clinically, only histologically. Some substances are predominantly comedogenic, others are mainly irritating, producing loose horn (scales), and are both comedogenic and irritating. These hybrids are not uncommon and are certainly more troublesome. Those may all look alike on the surface, but are vastly different histologically. Because of this we have abandoned gross inspection.
KeywordsCocoa Butter Sodium Lauryl Sulfate Sebaceous Gland Horny Cell Human Sebaceous Follicle
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