Skin can recognize `scents`, claims study

ANI| Last Updated: Jul 08, 2014, 15:47 PM IST

Washington: A new study claims that human skin has olfactory receptors that can 'sniff' out the odors.

According to the scientists, human skin could smell itself as well as other scents, and could also pinpoint a common and pleasant scent, which promoted healing of the skin.

Chemist Peter Schieberle from the Technical University of Munich, who discovered that the human heart, blood and lungs possess olfactory receptors, told Discovery News that it was possible for odors to have less important functions in the human body.

Now, the new study by Daniela Busse from Germany's Ruhr-University Bochum and her team, have not only recognized 5 different types of olfactory receptors in epidermis of the human skin, but they also managed to duplicate one of them, called OR2AT4.

Busse and her team used sandalwood, as the oil from its tree have been used as both perfume and as a medicinal agent for the skin for at least 4,000 years, and found that Sandalore triggered the cloned smeller cells in skin, which dramatically amplified the production and migration of cells, which was a characteristic process of wound healing.

Though the scientists were not clear on why the synthetic sandalwood was so effective, they believed that it may have somehow made interaction between the predominant human skin cells and nerve cells easy.

The study is published in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology.