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March 1960

A Laboratory Method for Evaluation of Topical Anti-Inflammatory Agents

Author Affiliations


Department of Dermatology, Northwestern University Medical School, and the Toni Company, Chicago (Dr. Brunner). The Toni Company, a Division of The Gillette Company, Chicago (Dr. Finkelstein).

AMA Arch Derm. 1960;81(3):453-457. doi:10.1001/archderm.1960.03730030111019

Introduction  Critical evaluation of the potency of topically applied steroids has been a difficult task. The method of evaluation most often used has been clinical trial in inflammatory dermatoses, using symmetrical sites for paired comparisons.1-5 This technic is at best a tedious one, and is limited to the comparison of two treatments in each subject. It is difficult to find treatment sites which are exactly comparable, and large numbers of subjects must be used to obtain significant figures. The evaluation of the results of these clinical trials is not precise, and readings must be made by trained personnel. For example, with hydrocortisone, although clinical usage has long since established its usefulness, it may be difficult to distinguish this agent from a placebo in carefully controlled clinical trials.6 It is clear that an efficient laboratory method is needed to allow for rapid screening of topical anti-inflammatory activity of the