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J Drugs Dermatol. 2012 Mar;11(3):366-74.

Comparative trial of 5% dexpanthenol in water-in-oil formulation with 1% hydrocortisone ointment in the treatment of childhood atopic dermatitis: a pilot study.

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Skin Center, Faculty of Medicine, Srinakharinwirot University, Bangkok, Thailand.



Atopic dermatitis (AD) is a common chronic relapsing disease particularly affecting children. The emollient used for protection of skin barrier function is the standard treatment for patients with AD. Currently, there is a growing interest in the use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory agents such as dexpanthenol (vitamin B5) as an alternative treatment.


To compare the effectiveness of 5% dexpanthenol (DT) ointment with 1% hydrocortisone (HC) ointment in childhood AD therapy.


Patients were treated topically with 5% DT ointment on the right side of the body and 1% HC ointment on the other side twice daily for 4 weeks. The clinical responses were evaluated by SCORAD (Scoring Atopic Dermatitis index) with statistical analysis using paired t-test.


Of the 30 children enrolled, 26 completed the protocol; mean age was 7.19 years. The average baseline SCORAD score of the DT-treated side and the HC-treated side was 30.95 and 30.54, respectively. There was no statistically significant difference in SCORAD score reduction between the 2 agents. The edematous score of the HC-treated side exhibited faster resolution than that of the DT-treated side, with a statistically significant difference at week 1 and without a statistically significant difference at weeks 2 to 4. The lichenification response rate of HC treatment was more rapid than that of DT treatment; however, there was no statistical group difference. No adverse events were observed with either agent.


The effectiveness of 5% DT ointment is equal to that of 1% HC ointment. DT ointment may be used as alternative treatment in mild to moderate childhood AD therapy.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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