Ethosomes are nanovesicular carriers for dermal administration. Phospholipids, ethanol at relatively high concentrations (up to 50%) and water are their main components. Ethosomes are what we call “soft vesicles” with fluid bilayers due to the presence of ethanol. The composition and structure of the vesicles augment their ability to entrap molecules with various physicochemical properties and deliver them to the deep strata of skin. Since their first design, ethosomal systems have been extensively investigated for a wide range of applications.
This review focuses on work carried out in vitro, in vivo in animal models and in humans in clinical studies, with ethosomal formulations containing natural active molecules for the treatment of skin disorders. Skin bacterial and fungal infections, skin inflammation, acne vulgaris, arthritis, and skin cancer are examples of disorders managed successfully by ethosomal systems. Furthermore, Ethosomes loaded with a number of naturally occurring compounds for cosmetic applications are also reported. The efficient treatments together with a good safety profile and lack of toxicity or irritation paved the way towards the development of new dermal therapies.
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