Topical antifungal agents which have anti-inflammatory effects have the potential to provide additional clinical benefits. Therefore, an anti-inflammatory activity of lanoconazole (LCZ), a topical antifungal agent, was investigated against in vitro and in vivo models of inflammation. The release of interleukin-8 (IL-8) from human epidermal keratinocytes stimulated by the addition of 100 μg ml(-1) β-glucan of Saccharomyces cerevisiae was significantly inhibited by LCZ at the concentration of 10(-5) mol l(-1). The release of interferon-γ and IL-2 from human peripheral blood mononuclear cells stimulated by the addition of 30 and 100 μg ml(-1) phytohemagglutinin was significantly inhibited by LCZ at the concentrations of 10(-7) and 10(-6) mol l(-1), respectively. The increase in the ear thickness induced by topical application of 0.01% 12-O-tetradecanoyl phorbol-13-acetate and 1% 2,4,6-trinitrochlorobenzene (TNCB) after sensitisation with 3% TNCB were established as the mouse models of irritant and contact dermatitis, respectively. Application of 1% and 3% LCZ showed a significant anti-inflammatory activity against both the irritant and contact dermatitis models. These findings suggest that LCZ possesses an anti-inflammatory activity, which may be partially helpful in the treatment of dermatomycoses.