Clinical therapeutics

The role of clobetasol propionate emollient 0.05% in the treatment of patients with dry, scaly, corticosteroid-responsive dermatoses.

PMID 9522102


The use of topical corticosteroids has significantly enhanced the treatment of patients with dermatoses such as psoriasis and eczema. In particular, group I high-potency corticosteroids such as clobetasol propionate have proved safe and effective for limited-course treatment of inflammatory and pruritic manifestations of moderate-to-severe corticosteroid-responsive dermatoses. At the same time, much effort has gone into devising more effective strategies for addressing the dry skin conditions associated with various dermatologic disorders. An emollient added to a steroid, although not itself an active ingredient, can help restore the normal moisturizing process of the skin; this may be particularly important in soothing the discomfort of the dry skin conditions often encountered in moderate-to-severe dermatoses. In addition, the degree of epidermal hydration can affect the penetration of steroids into the skin. Therefore, successful outcomes in the treatment of patients with corticosteroid-responsive dermatoses may involve more than use of an effective topical steroid. This article examines a currently available cream formulation of 0.05% clobetasol propionate containing moisturizers--emollients, dimethicone, and a humectant--that may contribute to improved moisture content in treated skin. A review of recent studies shows that clobetasol propionate emollient cream is well tolerated and effective in courses of up to 4 weeks for the treatment of patients with psoriasis or atopic dermatitis.