Barrier creams and protective ointments have proved to be of rather limited value in protecting the skin against irritants and sensitizers. For the past year it has been found that a film formed by spraying the skin with topical aerosol dexamethasone (Decadron) spray* is effective in preventing dermatitis in individuals who would otherwise manifest allergic eczematous contact dermatitis from nickel-plated objects. A 90-gm tube of this spray contains 10 mg of dexamethasone; isopropyl myristate; and Freon propellants: trichloromonofluromethane and dichlorodifluoromethane.
According to the manufacturer each second of spray at 6 inches distance dispenses 0.75 mg of dexamethasone, a synthetic analogue of hydrocortisone.
The isopropyl myristate in this spray is a synthetic fatty oily compound which acts as a residual film after the Freon has evaporated. This fatty acid ester is used in many cosmetics as a lubricant and skin emollient in 2% to 10% concentration. The film formed by the
FISHER AA. Steroid Aerosol Spray In Contact Dermatitis: Prophylactic Use With Particular Reference to Nickel Hypersensitivity. Arch Dermatol. 1964;89(6):841–843. doi:10.1001/archderm.1964.01590300069020
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