Section : Conference Notes

Capsaicin Receptor Reduced in Psoriasis lesions (For Professionals)

  • Capsaicin  used topically is used in the treatment of pain following for example shingles = post herpetic neuralgia.
  • In the following study, capsaicin receptors appear to be reduced
  • Capsaicin receptor is also known as TRPV1
  • 32 Patients with psoriasis (lesional) were compared with 20 with normal skin


  • TRPV1 was found by RTPCR (polymerase chain reaction) in 12 psoriatic lesions and 10 normal skin samples
  • In psoriasis the level was reduced to 69.8% +/- 4,3% when compared with the control
  • Out of the 32 samples of psoriasis lesions immunohistochemistry showed receptor expression to be:
    • positive in 2 samples
    • weak in 9 samples
    • absent in 21 samples


  • These results could explain why psoriasis is asymptomatic
  • A reduced TRPV1 expression could be explained by a stimulation of TRPV1 by an unknown substance
  • It would be interesing to see it symptomatic patients with psoriasis having itch would respond to topical capsaicin.

Wen H.L. The Expression and Significance of Capsaicin Receptor in Lesions of Psoriasis
9th Asian Dermatological Congress (ADC) 13 – Hong Kong, SAR