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Journal Article 
Local Depilatory Action Of Unsaturated Compounds. The Effect Of Human Sebum On Hair Growth 
Flesch, P; Goldstone, SB 
Journal of Investigative Dermatology
ISSN: 0022-202X
EISSN: 1523-1747 
The depilatory action of human sebum was investigated. Dimers were prepared from chloroprene (14523898) and painted on albino-mice, mottled guinea-pigs, 12 day old chicks, and rabbits. Sensitivity and toxicity were determined in animals. Clinical trials were performed on children. The effect of the dimer on free sulfhydryl compounds was tested using tissue homogenates from mice, guinea-pigs, and humans. Depilatory effects of 18 synthetic unsaturated compounds, Vitamin-A (68268), squalene (111024), and human sebum were tested in rabbits and mice. Using the dimer, all animals lost their hair at the site of application within 2 weeks. All dimers were irritating, causing edema, erythema, and infiltration. Dimers were irritating to humans but did not cause hair loss. The minimal lethal dose was 1 milliliter of a 25 percent concentration in rats. The dimer inactivated the free sulfhydryl groups in-vitro. Of the synthetic unsaturated compounds, allyl-laurate (7003750), allyl-benzoate (583040), and allyl-diphenyl-acetate caused hair loss in mice. The allyl compounds were highly toxic to mice and rabbits. Inhibition of sulfhydryl groups by allyl derivatives was much less than in dimers. Vitamin-A and squalene produced hair loss, but Vitamin-A had no effect on free sulfhydryl compounds, while inhibition was seen with squalene. Human sebum caused hair loss in rabbits and some mice, and inhibited sulfhydryl groups and succinic-dehydrogenase. The authors conclude that human sebum may play a role in common male baldness. It is a chemically active mixture that influences the metabolism of the skin.