Indexed with PubMed and Science Citation Index (E) 
Users online: 1594 
     Home | Feedback | Login 
About Current Issue Archive Ahead of print Search Instructions Online Submission Subscribe What's New Contact  
  Navigate here 
   Next article
   Previous article 
   Table of Contents
 Resource links
   Similar in PUBMED
    Search Pubmed for
    Search in Google Scholar for
  Related articles
   [PDF Not available] *
   Citation Manager
   Access Statistics
   Reader Comments
   Email Alert *
   Add to My List *
* Registration required (free)  

  In this article
   Materials and Me...
   Article Tables

 Article Access Statistics
    PDF Downloaded0    
    Comments [Add]    

Recommend this journal


Year : 1992  |  Volume : 58  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 23-24

Comparative evaluation of topical corticosteroid creams

Correspondence Address:
BSN Reddy

Login to access the Email id

Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

Rights and PermissionsRights and Permissions


It is important to have reliable bioassay models for topical steroids and assess their comparative efficacy. In the present study, seven commonly prescribed commercial corticosteroid creams have been evaluated for their efficacy using histamine bioassay method. The results indicated that clobetasol propionate (Excel®) and betamethasone valerate (Betnovate®), fluocinolone acetonide (Supricort®), beclomethasone dipropionate (Beclate®), betamethasone benzoate (Topicasone ®), and dexamethasone trimethyl acetate (Millicortenol ®) in that order of priority.

Keywords: Steroid, Topical, Evaluation

How to cite this article:
Reddy B, Shantharaman R. Comparative evaluation of topical corticosteroid creams. Indian J Dermatol Venereol Leprol 1992;58:23-4

How to cite this URL:
Reddy B, Shantharaman R. Comparative evaluation of topical corticosteroid creams. Indian J Dermatol Venereol Leprol [serial online] 1992 [cited 2021 Jan 20];58:23-4. Available from:

  Introduction Top

Today, the topical corticosteroids are one of the most commonly prescribed drugs in the management of dermatological problems. With rapid technological advances in recent years, more and more newer topical steroids are being manufactured in a wide range of sophisticated vehicles and marketed under a variety of brand names. [1]

It is needless to say that the practicing dermatologist will be at times in a great dilemma in choosing the correct steroid to achieve the desired benefit without producing undue side effects from these long list of commercially available topical corticosteroid preparations. Hence, we decided to assess the relative efficacy of some of the commonly prescribed topical corticoids in our locality using the histamine bioassay procedure described by Reddy and Singh. [2]

  Materials and Methods Top

Fourteen healthy volunteers of both sexes, aged between 15-30 years with no history of either corticosteroid or antihistamine therapy atleast for preceding 6 weeks constituted the subjects for this study. Seven commonly prescribed commercial corticosteroid creams as listed in [Table - 1] were chosen for comparative evaluation according to the histamine bioassay method for topical corticosteroids described by Reddy and Singh. [2]

  Results Top

The details of the histamine response of the skin over the control and steroid treated sites were summarized in [Table - 1]. There is statistically significant difference in the mean histamine response of the skin over the control site and steroid treated sites on one hand and also among the different steroids treated sites on the other hand (P < 0.001). Maximum suppression of the histamine induced wheals was noted with clobetasol propionate followed by betamethasone dipropionate and betamethasone valerate, fluocinolone acetonide, beclomethasone benzoate and dexamethasone trimethyl acetate in that order of priority. Except for mild erythema at the border of sticking plaster which subsided within 1/2 hour after removal of the occlusion, no untoward effects were noted due to the topical application of the' steroid creams.

  Comments Top

Several factors influence the therapeutic efficacy of topical steroid such as its chemical structure, size of the particle and concentration of the active ingredient, nature of the base in which it was dispensed etc. Among the different topical corticosteroid creams evaluated in the present study, clobetasol propionate (Excel [RI)) was found to be the most and dexamethasone trimethyl acetate (Millicortinol (R)) was the least effective, while the rest of the creams occupying an intermediate position in terms of histamine suppressor activity.

In a comparative evaluation of topical corticosteroids using histamine bioassay method, Singh and Singh [3] also noted similar observations. The grading of topical corticoids obtained in our study is in agreement with the findings obtained in many other studies using various procedures such as vasoconstrictor assays, animal model studies and clinical evaluation. [4],[5],[6]

  References Top

1.Reddy BSN and Singh G. Topical corticosteroids. Ind Med Gaz 1976; 16 : 42 - 7.  Back to cited text no. 1    
2.Reddy BSN and Singh G. A new model for human bioassay of topical corticosteroids. Br J Dermatol 1976; 94 : 191 - 3.  Back to cited text no. 2    
3.Singh PK and Singh G. Relative potency of topical corticosteroid preparations. Ind J Dermatol Venereol Leprol 1985; 51 : 309-12.  Back to cited text no. 3    
4.McKenzie AW and Stoughton RB. Method for comparing percutaneous absorption of steroids. Arch Dermatol 1962; 86: 608-10.  Back to cited text no. 4    
5.Schlagel CA and Northam JI. Comparative antiinflammatory efficacy of topically applied steroids on human skin. Proc Soc Exp Biol Med 1959; 109: 629.  Back to cited text no. 5    
6.Nordwall C. Local treatment of psoriasis and eczema with betamethasone dipropionate. Curr Therap Resp 1974; 16 : 798.  Back to cited text no. 6  [PUBMED]  


[Table - 1]


Print this article  Email this article
Previous article Next article


Online since 15th March '04
Published by Wolters Kluwer - Medknow