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The healing of intact suction blisters in pig skin was studied using fluorescein-labelled lectins as well as conventional histological techniques. After blistering, initially overt separation was observed at the dermo-epidermal junction, but the separated epidermis appeared to re-attach within 9 h. Massive infiltration of the dermis and the epidermis by inflammatory cells, including eosinophils, was observed. By day 4 focal detachment of the epidermis occurred spontaneously, and towards day 9 the appearance of the blistered areas had almost returned to normal, apart from isolated patches of thin epidermis devoid of rete ridges. It is proposed that the sloughing the of the epidermis on day 4 is related to the presence of inflammatory cells and that the restoration of normal dermo-epidermal relations is dependent on the basement membrane zone remaining intact. The secondary blistering seen in day 4 specimens and the inflammatory cell involvement are in many ways similar to the blistering processes observed in certain human cutaneous disorders, such as dermatitis herpetiformis and bullous pemphigoid, and therefore suction blisters in pig skin might provide a suitable animal model for these diseases.

Original publication




Journal article


J Cutan Pathol

Publication Date





303 - 315


Animals, Basement Membrane, Blister, Epidermis, Fluoresceins, Inflammation, Lectins, Skin, Suction, Swine, Time Factors, Wound Healing