School of Chemistry and Molecular Biosciences, Australian Infectious Diseases Research Centre, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, Queensland, 4072 Australia
Therapeutics Research Centre, School of Medicine, Translational Research Institute, The University of Queensland, 37 Kent St. Woolloongabba, Queensland, 76131, Australia
School of Pharmacy and Medical Sciences, University of South Australia, City East Campus, North Terrace, Adelaide, South Australia, 5001, Australia
Correspondence: Prof. Ross T. Barnard, School of Chemistry and Molecular Biosciences, Australian Infectious Diseases Research Centre, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, Queensland, 4072 Australia.
Magnesium is an important micronutrient essential for various biological processes and its deficiency has been linked to several inflammatory disorders in humans. Topical magnesium delivery is one of the oldest forms of therapy for skin diseases, for example Dead Sea therapy and Epsom salt baths. Some anecdotal evidence and a few published reports have attributed amelioration of inflammatory skin conditions to the topical application of magnesium. On the other hand, transport of magnesium ions across the protective barrier of skin, the stratum corneum, is contentious. Our primary aim in this study was to estimate the extent of magnesium ion permeation through human skin and the role of hair follicles in facilitating the permeation. Upon topical application of magnesium solution, we found that magnesium penetrates through human stratum corneum and it depends on concentration and time of exposure. We also found that hair follicles make a significant contribution to magnesium penetration.