In Vivo Determination of the Skin Atrophy Potential of the Super-High-Potency Topical Corticosteroid Fluocinonide 0.1% Cream Compared with Clobetasol Propionate 0.05% Cream and Foam and a Vehicle

January 2008 | Volume 7 | Issue 1 | Original Article | 28 | Copyright © January 2008

Eugene H. Gans PhD, Iqbal Sadiq MS, Tracy Stoudemayer, Marianne Stoudemayer BS, Albert M. Kligman MD PhD

Purpose: Prolonged topical corticosteroid use is often associated with atrophic skin changes. This trial compared signs of skin atrophy related to 3 super-high-potency corticosteroids: fluocinonide 0.1% cream, clobetasol propionate 0.05% cream, and 0.05% foam. Patients and Methods: The test treatments were applied to the forearms 10 females twice daily for 21 days. Skin characteristics were assessed pretreatment and posttreatment for atrophic changes. Further punch biopsies obtained from 5 subjects were assessed histologically. Results: Clobetasol foam produced mild changes in noninvasive tests, but stained skin biopsies revealed structural changes nearly comparable to clobetasol cream, which showed substantial atrophic changes. Fluocinonide cream was the least atrophogenic, producing no or only mild effects that were slightly greater than vehicle. Conclusions: Fluocinonide cream has a lower potential to produce atrophic changes of the skin than either clobetasol cream or clobetasol propionate foam.