Dynamic Thiol/Disulfide Balance in Patients with Seborrheic Dermatitis: A Case-Control Study

Saudi J Med Med Sci. Jan-Apr 2020;8(1):12-16. doi: 10.4103/sjmms.sjmms_50_19. Epub 2019 Dec 23.


Background: Seborrheic dermatitis is a chronic, inflammatory skin disease, in which many endogenous and exogenous factors play a role. Recent studies have shown that oxidative stress increases in these patients. The role of the dynamic thiol/disulfide homeostasis, an important component of the oxidative stress, in the pathogenesis of seborrheic dermatitis has not yet been investigated.

Objectives: The objective was to investigate the relationship between the dynamic thiol/disulfide balance in the plasma of seborrheic dermatitis patients and disease severity.

Methods: In this case-control study, 70 seborrheic dermatitis patients and 61 age- and sex-matched healthy controls were included. Thiol/disulfide homeostasis was calculated from venous blood samples, and tests were performed by automated spectrophotometric method. The thiol/disulfide balance between the patient and control groups was compared. In addition, disease severity and other demographic characteristics and thiol/disulfide balance parameters were compared.

Results: Native and total thiols were significantly higher in the patient group than that in the control group (P < 0.001). Disulfide levels were nonsignificantly lower in the patient group than controls (P = 0.821). Patients' age and age at the onset of disease were found to have a negative correlation with native and total thiol levels.

Conclusion: Higher levels of thiols in the serum may be responsible for the increased proliferation of seborrheic dermatitis lesions. To the best of the authors' knowledge, this is the first report on the correlation between thiol/disulfide homeostasis in patients with seborrheic dermatitis.

Keywords: Disease severity; hyperproliferation; oxidative stress; seborrheic dermatitis; thiol/disulfide.