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J Am Acad Dermatol. 1995 Jul;33(1):74-7.

Multicenter trial for long-term safety and efficacy comparison of 0.05% desonide and 1% hydrocortisone ointments in the treatment of atopic dermatitis in pediatric patients.

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  • 1Bowman Gray School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, North Carolina, USA.



Desonide, a class 6 nonfluorinated topical corticosteroid, has been available for more than two decades. Hydrocortisone is widely used in the treatment of dermatoses in children.


Our purpose was to compare the safety and efficacy of desonide ointment and 1.0% hydrocortisone ointment in children with atopic dermatitis.


One hundred thirteen children (mean age, 4.8 years) with mild to moderate atopic dermatitis were enrolled in a multicenter, randomized, investigator-masked, parallel-group study. Treatments were applied twice daily for 5 weeks and extended to 6 months in 36 of the patients. Signs of atrophy were evaluated. Efficacy was determined by measuring global improvement, erythema, lichenification, excoriations, oozing or crusting, pruritus, and induration.


No differences in safety were observed between hydrocortisone and desonide. The investigator's global assessment of improvement significantly favored desonide over hydrocortisone during 3 months of treatment (p < 0.05).


Desonide ointment showed greater efficacy, produced more rapid improvement, and demonstrated an equivalent cutaneous safety profile when compared with 1% hydrocortisone ointment for up to 6 months.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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