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Cholesterol and the Skin (Hypercholesterolemia) – Statins: A new therapeutic drug in Dermatology ? (for professionals)

  • Statins (hypolipaemic or cholesterol lowering drug) (HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors) as a new dermatologic drug ?
  • Potential applications include:
  1. alopecia areata*
  2. allergic contact dermatitis
  3. antifungal
  4. atopic dermatitis
  5. chronic idiopathic urticaria
  6. cutaneous T-cell lymphomas (stimulation of lymphoma cell apoptosis through Fas-L expression) (CTCL)
  7. cutaneous melanoma (cutaneous apoptosis has been demonstrated in vitro)
  8. dermatographism
  9. graft-versus-host disease
  10. mastocytosis (urticaria pigmentosa)
  11. psoriasis
  12. scleroderma (systemic sclerosis)
  13. systemic lupus erythematosus*
  14. rheumatoid arthritis*
  15. xanthelasma

*evidence in humans



  • The overall proposed mechanism of action is through:
  1. modulation of the Th1/Th2 balance
  2. inhibition of Th17 cell induction
  3. inhibition of Il-17 production
  4. inhibition of lymphocyte migration and of angiogenesis




A comparative study of the therapeutic effect of probucol and pravastatin on xanthelasma. Fujita M, Shirai K. J Dermatol. 1996 Sep;23(9):598-602.

Antifungal activity of statins against Aspergillus species. Qiao J, Kontoyiannis DP, Wan Z, Li R, Liu W. Med Mycol. 2007 Nov;45(7):589-93.

Disappearance of eyelid xanthelasma following oral simvastatin (Zocor). Shields CL, Mashayekhi A, Shields JA, Racciato P. Br J Ophthalmol. 2005 May;89(5):639-40. No abstract available.

Statins in skin: research and rediscovery, from psoriasis to sclerosis. Egesi A, Sun G, Khachemoune A, Rashid RM. J Drugs Dermatol. 2010 Aug;9(8):921-7.

Statins stimulate in vitro membrane FasL expression and lymphocyte apoptosis through RhoA/ROCK pathway in murine melanoma cells. Sarrabayrouse G, Synaeve C, Leveque K, Favre G, Tilkin-Mariamé AF.Neoplasia. 2007 Dec;9(12):1078-90.

Source of information: here