Statins in skin: research and rediscovery, from psoriasis to sclerosis

J Drugs Dermatol. 2010 Aug;9(8):921-7.


Statins, initially developed as antimicrobials, are primarily considered cholesterol-lowering agents. Recently, researchers discovered anti-inflammatory properties of statins. Studies on the effects of statins and the alterations noted include: bench work that supported a Th1/Th2 skew to Th1, altered lymphocyte migration, inhibition of MHC-II induction and cytokine release on antigen-presenting cells, inhibition of mast cell degranulation and inhibition of Th17 cells and IL-17 production. In addition to the anti-inflammatory properties, statins have been found to induce apoptosis in melanoma models. The potential therapeutic value of statins is illustrated in the management of alopecia areata, atopic dermatitis, psoriasis, systemic lupus erythematosus, cutaneous T-cell lymphomas, cutaneous melanoma, mastocytosis and more. This manuscript presents a comprehensive review of statins and their potential dermatologic application.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / pharmacology
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / therapeutic use
  • Apoptosis / drug effects
  • Dermatologic Agents / pharmacology
  • Dermatologic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Reductase Inhibitors / pharmacology
  • Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Reductase Inhibitors / therapeutic use*
  • Skin Diseases / drug therapy*
  • Skin Diseases / physiopathology


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents
  • Dermatologic Agents
  • Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Reductase Inhibitors