Why Skin Matters in Chronic Pain

Recent scientific discoveries regarding peripheral pain mechanisms, specifically within the epidermis, have led to new pain assessment tools and the development of new treatments. These discoveries may enhance the manner in which a clinician can evaluate and treat patients with chronic pain of diverse types, both neuropathic and others. It has been recently noted that keratinocytes in the skin release a broad spectrum of neural-active substances, such as neurotransmitters, neuropeptides, neurohormones, and thus may play a significant role in pain assessment as well as pain treatment. The increasing role of “skin” in pain management will be discussed with specific attention to emerging trends in pain assessment and pain treatment as a result of recent discoveries.

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