Enhanced follicular delivery of finasteride to human scalp skin using heat and chemical penetration enhancers
Purpose The aim of this work was to evaluate whether improved topical delivery of finasteride, focussed to the hair follicles of human scalp skin could be achieved with application of short durations of heat and use of specific chemical penetration enhancers. Methods Franz cell experiments with human scalp skin were performed with a range of chemical penetration enhancers at 32°C and 45°C to simulate normal and heated conditions. Selected chemical penetration enhancers were taken forward for finite dose Franz cell studies which examined the effect of heat produced by a prototype external heating system that supplied either 20 or 30 min of additional heat over both a 24 h and a 1 h time period. Results Short durations of externally applied heat significantly increased finasteride penetration into human scalp skin after 24 h. Analysis of drug distribution in the skin after 1 h and 24 h indicated that both heat and chemical penetration enhancer selection influenced drug delivery to the hair follicles. Conclusion The use of short durations of heat in combination with specific chemical penetration enhancers was able to increase the delivery of finasteride to human scalp skin and provide focussed drug delivery to the hair follicles.