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February 1968

Dimethyl Sulfoxide as a Vehicle for Corticosteroids: A Comparison With the Occlusive Dressing Technique

Author Affiliations

New Brunswick, NJ

From the Squibb Institute for Medical Research, New Brunswick, NJ.

Arch Dermatol. 1968;97(2):110-114. doi:10.1001/archderm.1968.01610080014002

Dimethyl sulfoxide promotes the cutaneous penetration of corticosteroids. This property suggests that a dimethyl sulfoxide vehicle for corticosteroids could render the cumbersome occlusive dressing technique obsolete. Use of a 70% dimethyl sulfoxide gel containing triamcinolone acetonide was compared in 224 patients, utilizing the contralateral paired comparison method, with a conventional cream vehicle containing the same corticosteroid, the latter applied under occlusion. The occlusion method was superior in 59% of the patients, the dimethyl sulfoxide formulation was superior in 15%, and there was no apparent therapeutic difference in the remaining 26%. Dimethyl sulfoxide frequently produced significant local irritation, necessitating discontinuation of therapy in 8% of the patients.