Background: Sulfur-(SM) and nitrogen (NM)-based mustards are the mutagenic
incapacitating compounds which are widely used in vesicating the chemical warfare and cause
toxicity in many organs, especially skin. SM, as a potent vesicating agent, contributes to the
destruction of skin in dermis and epidermis layers. The progression of the lesion depends on the
concentration of SM and the duration of exposure. Body responses start with pruritus, erythema,
edema and xerosis, which lead to the accumulation of immune cells in the target sites and
recruitment of mast cells and paracrine-mediated activity. Pro-inflammatory effectors are
accumulated in the epidermis, hair follicles, and sebaceous glands resulting in the destruction of
the basement membrane beneath the epidermis. There is still no satisfactory countermeasure
against SM-induced lesions in clinical therapy, and the symptomatic or supportive treatments are
routine management approaches.
Objective: The current review highlights the recent progression of herbal medicines application in
SM-induced injuries through the illustrative examples and also demonstrates their efficacies,
properties and mechanism of actions as therapeutic agents.
Conclusion: Phytochemicals and herbal extracts with anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant
properties have been recently shown to hold therapeutic promise against the SM-induced
cutaneous complications. The present review discusses the possible application of herbal medicines
in the healing of SM-induced injuries.