Starting from the beginning of the human story numberless substances have been applied on the skin to favour wound healing, for the management of skin diseases, or simply and perhaps more often for cosmetic aims. In sharp contrast, only in recent years, and with a great delay as compared with otherfields of pharmacology, the study of the effects of chemicals on the skin moved from art to science; now it is soundly based on a rational approach. Regulatory Authorities classify substances and formulations to be applied on the skin in two distinct categories: drugs and cosmetics. This in order to prevent that harmful or extremely active chemicals, contained in cosmetic preparations, are used without medical control.
Nevertheless, all pharmacologists know that in its widest meaning drug is every substance capable of modifying cell function, and it is difficult to admit that chemicals used in cosmetic preparations are devoid of any influence on biochemical mechanisms of epidermal cells, in particular in the case of long-term treatments. Thus dermopharmacology and cosmetology are at least overlapping disciplines, and there is no doubt that the same methodology should be employed in both fields.
Over the years Relata Technica has achieved a wide readership; at present its aim is to broaden the journal to make it a truly comprehensive dermopharmacology research journal in which articles in all of the most interesting and exciting areas of modern skin care have their forum. As a consequence, Relata Technica should attract manuscripts concerning the pharmacokinetic behaviour and the pharmacodynamic activity of old and new chemicals used to control skin diseases or to prevent skin aging, as well as studies providing insights on which to base rational development of new compounds for medicinal or cosmetic use.
Investigations on the various aspects of the interaction of chemicals with the skin can be analysed by the use of several experimental models: the intact animal, fragments of surviving skin, keratinocytes cultures or the more sophisticated in vitro reconstructed human skin, subcellular fractions and pure enzyme systems. The end point examined in the study may be the macroscopic appearance of the skin, its histological, histochemical or ultrastructural features, and a biochemical or molecular marker.
An important aspect of dermopharmacology, and even more of cosmetology, is safety assessment. Therefore the journal will be also very interested in publishing the results of research dealing with the local and systemic tolerability of new compounds. In this respect, one of the major goals of Relata Technica is to promote studies on the use and validation of the so called alternative assays which should have the final aim of substituting, at least for cosmetics, the use of laboratory animals in the assessment of systemic toxicity, local irritant activity and, in a broader sense, of any possible adverse effect.
Finally, Relata Tecnica should be the natural publication outlet for manuscripts concerning the formulation of dermopharmaceutical and cosmetic preparations, and in particular for those which analyse the influence of the vehicle and other ingredients on the efficacy and tolerability of the active substance.
It is essential that the quality of papers published in Relata Technica be good and, on the other hand, it is important for the journal to process and publish papers promptly. We will make every possible effort to improve and shorten the review process, and I believe that Relata Technica will become a preeminent journal in the field of dermopharmacology.