Original Research

A New Standardized Method of Evaluating Cutaneous Irritation From Topical Medications

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We used a new technique to evaluate and compare cutaneous irritation from various topical medications. Twenty participants with corticosteroid-responsive dermatoses were enrolled. Three target areas of unaffected skin were abraded. A negative control (petrolatum ointment), a positive control (an over-the-counter [OTC] anti-itch preparation containing benzyl alcohol), and a test product (fluticasone propionate lotion 0.05%) were each applied to separate target areas on the legs. Participants rated the irritation of each target area using a 10-point scale (1 [no symptoms] to 10 [intolerable burning/stinging requiring removal of the medication]). The mean irritation scores for petrolatum ointment, the OTC anti-itch preparation, and fluticasone propionate lotion 0.05% were 1.20, 6.15, and 2.05, respectively. The difference in irritation between the OTC anti-itch preparation and fluticasone propionate lotion 0.05% was highly significant (P


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