Ion channels of the Transient Receptor Potential (TRP) family mediate the influx of monovalent and/or divalent cations into cells in response to a host of chemical or physical stimuli. In the skin, TRP channels are expressed in many cell types, including keratinocytes, sensory neurons, melanocytes, and immune/inflammatory cells. Within these diverse cell types, TRP channels participate in physiological processes ranging from sensation to skin homeostasis. In addition, there is a growing body of evidence implicating abnormal TRP channel function, as a product of excessive or deficient channel activity, in pathological skin conditions such as chronic pain and itch, dermatitis, vitiligo, alopecia, wound healing, skin carcinogenesis, and skin barrier compromise. These diverse functions, coupled with the fact that many TRP channels possess pharmacologically accessible sites, make this family of proteins appealing therapeutic targets for skin disorders.
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