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July 1953

EOSINOPHILIC RESPONSE AFTER INUNCTION OF HYDROCORTISONE OINTMENTExperiments Demonstrating Lack of Significant Absorption and of Systemic Effects

Author Affiliations


From the Department of Dermatology and Syphilology of the New York University Post-Graduate Medical School (Dr. Marion B. Sulzberger, Chairman), and the Service of Dermatology and Syphilology of Bellevue Hospital (Dr. Frank C. Combes, Chief of Service).

AMA Arch Derm Syphilol. 1953;68(1):50-53. doi:10.1001/archderm.1953.01540070053007

RECENTLY the local application of hydrocortisone acetate ointment has been reported to have a favorable effect in a number of dermatoses.1 Because of this the possible percutaneous absorption of hydrocortisone and potential systemic effects were thought worthy of investigation. One of the reasons which had been considered as a hypothetical explanation of the effectiveness of topically applied hydrocortisone in contrast to the ineffectiveness of topically applied cortisone was the possible percutaneous absorption of the former.2 The previously demonstrated apparent lack of absorption of topically applied cortisone in normal subjects fits in with this theory.3 It was also theorized that the apparent beneficial effects of hydrocortisone acetate ointment upon skin lesions located beyond and removed from the actual site of application could possibly be explained on the basis of absorption, with mild systemic effects.

It is today well established that a reduction in the circulating eosinophile count

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