Strontium salts strongly reduces stinging, burning, and itching caused by irritating chemicals on the skin.


Skin care products are complex formulations that may cause sensory irritation symptoms, characterized by stinging, burning, and itching. Substances capable of counteracting sensory irritation are of great practical interest. Strontium salts have been demonstrated to inhibit sensory irritation and inflammation when applied topically. In this double-blind study, we evaluated the efficacy of strontium nitrate in reducing chemically-induced skin sensory irritation in 8 subjects. In a random order, 20% strontium nitrate in 70% glycolic acid (pH=0.6) (mixture) was applied to the volar aspect of the forearm and a positive control (70% glycolic acid, pH=0.6) to the contralateral forearm. The irritation sensation was evaluated each min for the first 20 min after topical application using a scale from 0-4. The duration of the irritation sensation in min was also recorded. Strontium nitrate mixed with glycolic acid, in comparison with glycolic acid alone, markedly (p<0.01) shortened the duration of the irritation sensation from 24.4+/-4.1 (mean+/-SEM) min to 8.9+/-3.7 (mean+/-SEM) min, and significantly (p<0.05) reduced the mean magnitude of the irritation sensation at all time points (overall). The study demonstrated that strontium nitrate potently suppresses the sensation of chemically-induced irritation.

Zhai H, Hannon W, Hahn GS, Pelosi A, Harper RA, Maibach HI
Contact Derm. 2000 Feb;42(2):98-100
PMID: 10703633