[Skip to Content]
[Skip to Content Landing]
May 1978

Hydrocortisone vs High-Potency Corticosteroid Ointments

Arch Dermatol. 1978;114(5):798-799. doi:10.1001/archderm.1978.01640170092029

To the Editor.—  The new high-potency glucocorticosteroids have largely replaced hydrocortisone in topical preparations for treating skin diseases. In a recent review, Stoughton1 has listed more than 20 commercial preparations from which the physician may choose. Eczema and psoriasis are the two major diseases that are treated with such preparations, and in many cases, occlusion is used to increase absorption.2 Atrophy3 has been reported with use of these agents, particularly where absorption is high, such as on the face and in intertriginous areas. This problem can be more generalized when occlusion is used. No such effects have been described with hydrocortisone.It has become a common practice to combine topical corticosteroids with tar and ultraviolet-B (UV-B) therapy to hasten clearing in psoriasis. We have recently observed that 1% hydrocortisone appears to be as effective as the more potent corticosteroids in this regimen when occlusion with a plastic