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December 1961

The Synergism of Salicylates and Steroids

Author Affiliations


Arch Dermatol. 1961;84(6):964-971. doi:10.1001/archderm.1961.01580180080013

In recent years rheumatologists have been using a combination of steroids and salicylates in the management of rheumatic fever and various arthritides. Many believe that the 2 drugs are synergistic, giving results superior to either alone. By employing smaller doses of the 2 drugs, the side effects are less frequent than when one agent is administered alone in higher dosage. Applying this principle to dermatology, we have used salicylates with steroidal agents in many subacute and chronic dermatoses in which the latter were recommended. We have observed favorable results in exfoliative, atopic, contact, and widespread seborrheic dermatitides, psoriatic erythroderma, and erythema multiforme. By continuing the use of salicylates, it has been possible in many instances to stop the steroids without the "rebound phenomenon" so frequently observed when they are withdrawn. Because of the difficulty of securing a control group of patients, interpretation of results was necessarily subjective.

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