Calcium antagonists in dermatology: a review of the evidence and research-based studies

Dermatol Online J. 2005 Aug 1;11(2):8.


Calcium antagonists (CAs) or calcium-channel blockers are a common group of antihypertensive medications. These drugs have the property of blocking the calcium channels of vascular and cardiac smooth muscle fibers. Some of these drugs may inhibit the growth and proliferation of vascular smooth muscle cells and fibroblasts, and inhibit the synthesis of extracellular-matrix proteins (collagen, fibronectin, proteoglycans). Other CAs also have immunomodulatory or dysregulatory effects on lymphocytes and can suppress superoxide generation and phagocytic action of neutrophils. Moreover mast cell degranulation and platelet aggregation may also be impaired. On account of these properties, calcium antagonists have also been used for the prevention and treatment of various dermatologic diseases such as erythromelalgia, idiopathic- or CREST-related calcinosis cutis, primary and secondary Raynaud phenomenon, chilblains, chronic anal fissures, keloids, and burn scars. They are also used for prevention of skin flap necrosis in experimental models. Calcium antagonists, apart from their well known and established antihypertensive action, should also be considered as possible therapy for several dermatologic diseases.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biomedical Research
  • Calcium Channel Blockers / pharmacology
  • Calcium Channel Blockers / therapeutic use*
  • Evidence-Based Medicine
  • Humans
  • Skin Diseases / drug therapy*


  • Calcium Channel Blockers