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Efficacy of corticosteroids in acute experimental irritant contact dermatitis?

Author(s): Levin C, Zhai H, Bashir S, Chew AL, Anigbogu A, Stern R, Maibach H

Affiliation(s): Department of Dermatology, University of California at San Francisco Medical Center, CA 94143-0989, USA.

Publication date & source: 2001-11, Skin Res Technol., 7(4):214-8.

Publication type: Clinical Trial; Randomized Controlled Trial

BACKGROUND/AIMS: Topical corticoids are used to treat irritant contact dermatitis (ICD) in humans. However, their clinical efficacy remains sub judice. This study was designed to assess the efficacy of low- and medium-potency corticosteroids on irritant dermatitis. METHODS: We induced an acute ICD via open application of sodium lauryl sulphate (SLS) on the hands of subjects. The dorsal side of hands was irritated with 10% SLS five times in one day. Once on day 1 and twice daily on days 2-5, 1% hydrocortisone, 0.1% betamethasone-17-valerate and vehicle cream (petrolatum) were applied subsequently. Visual grading, bioengineering techniques and squamometry were used to quantify skin response. RESULTS: Corticosteroids were found ineffective in treating the surfactant-induced irritant dermatitis when compared with the vehicle and with the untreated control. CONCLUSION: The counterintuitive result (in a relatively realistic and robust model) should be interpreted with caution until verified with other irritants of varying physicochemical properties.

Page last updated: 2006-01-31

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