The Dual Action of Ozone on the Skin

G. Valacchi; V. Fortino; V. Bocci


The British Journal of Dermatology. 2005;153(6):1096-1100. 

In This Article


Biological and clinical studies on the effects of O3 on the skin have shown that O3 can be either toxic, or safe at the point of use as a real drug, depending upon its dosage, length of exposure and the antioxidant capacity of the tissue exposed.

The ambivalent character of O3 has been likened to the Latin god Janus;[44] indeed O3 is useful in the stratosphere but is toxic in the troposphere because of its chronic effects on the respiratory system, skin and mucosae.[45]

On the other hand, it has recently been observed that olive oil, which during ozonation traps O3 in the form of a stable ozonide, when applied to all sorts of acute and chronic cutaneous infections, slowly release O3 which, in comparison with conventional creams, displays effective disinfectant and stimulatory activities that lead to rapid healing. The dual behaviour of O3 fits well the concept of 'hormesis' that says the exposure of a living organism to a very low level of an agent harmful at high or chronic levels induces an adaptive and beneficial response.[46,47]

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