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Dermatology. 1992;184(3):194-7.

Use of topical lithium succinate in the treatment of seborrhoeic dermatitis.

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Department of Dermatology, University Hospital, Ghent, Belgium.


Twenty-one patients with seborrhoeic dermatitis were included in an open trial of lithium succinate ointment (LSO) for a total duration of 8 weeks. The same clinician made assessments of the severity of redness, scaling, greasiness and overall clinical impression of the condition every 2 weeks. Because the results appeared to be satisfactory, we decided to perform a double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of LSO. Thirty patients with seborrhoeic dermatitis were included. The results also demonstrated the beneficial effect of LSO. A significantly higher number of patients treated with LSO showed remission or marked improvement compared with placebo. The main adverse events demonstrated consisted of minor transient skin irritation and/or stinging sensation. Studying the in vivo inhibitory effect of LSO on the growth of Pityrosporum revealed that Pityrosporum did not significantly have its growth inhibited by lithium. Topical lithium succinate appears to be a safe and an effective treatment for seborrhoeic dermatitis. The product presumably acts as an anti-inflammatory agent.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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