The local action of salicylic acid in various bases as well as the action of sulfur in the same bases in different concentrations has previously been studied.1
Since the combination of these two drugs is so widely used in dermatologic practice, an attempt was made to study their combined local action from various ointment bases on the normal human skin. After its application for several days, salicylic acid causes keratolysis, swelling and exfoliation of the stratum corneum. The acid causes an edematous formation in the rete Malpighii, but without its total destruction, and a new stratum corneum is quickly formed under its irritating and stimulating effect.
The action of sulfur is more complex. Its action is twofold, keratolytic and keratoplastic. A detailed account of the pharmacologic action of sulfur was previously2 omitted because of lack of space. For this reason and because no adequate review was found in
STRAKOSCH EA. STUDIES ON OINTMENTS: IV. LOCAL ACTION OF SALICYLIC ACID PLUS SULFUR FROM VARIOUS OINTMENT BASES. Arch Derm Syphilol. 1943;48(4):384–392. doi:10.1001/archderm.1943.01510040028006
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