Background: Bee venom (Apis mellifera L., BV) possessing a rich source of pharmacologically active substances has the potential to be used as a cosmetic ingredient for antiaging, antiinflammatory and antibacterial functions. The aim of this study was to assess the skin sensitization of BV on experimental animals using the Buehler test.
Materials and methods: Guinea pigs were randomly allocated into three groups of BV-sensitization, positive control-sensitization, and ethyl alcohol-sensitization group for induction and challenge. On the other hand, two groups of rats were administered with BV at doses of 0 and 1500 mg/kg. Clinical signs, mortality and body weight changes were continually monitored during the study period.
Results: No treatment-related clinical signs or body weight changes were observed in both animal models. The average skin reaction evaluated by erythema and edema on the challenge sites, and sensitization rate in the BV-sensitization group of guinea pigs were substantially low compared with those in positive control group, representing a negligible sensitizing potential of BV.
Conclusion: It was concluded that BV was well tolerated and exhibited no dermal irritation potential in guinea pigs and rats. Our findings may provide a developmental basis of BV for a cosmetic ingredient or external application for topical uses.