Reichert, M., Koewler, N., Hargis, A. M. et al. 2022. Effects of hair removal creams on mouse skin. Laboratory Animal Science Professional 10(3) (May/June), 46-47.
Human hair removal brands such as Nair™ are sometimes used in research to remove hair from mice before surgery, imaging, and other procedures.1,3 While the use of these depilatory creams in rodent research is relatively widespread, few studies have evaluated their potential to cause tissue injury despite the fact that they contain active ingredients that are known irritants and corrosives. Two strains of mice (C57BL/6, n = 32 and Crl:CD-1(ICR), n = 32) were used in the study to compare the effects of Nair™ cream on both pigmented and albino skin. Mice had body formula Nair™ applied to one flank for 15, 30, 60, or 120 seconds whereas the contralateral flank was shaved with clippers to serve as a control. Skin samples were collected for histologic evaluation 3 days after Nair™ application. Results support our hypothesis that the use of Nair™ cream on mouse skin is not innocuous but causes pathological changes associated with inflammation and proliferation.