Aggressive topical corticosteroid therapy: A novel approach to mast-cell-dependent cutaneous disorders

Robert M. Lavker*, Norman M. Schechter, Cynthia Guzzo, Gerald S. Lazarus

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalEditorialpeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Topical corticosteroids are utilized in the treatment of a wide variety of skin diseases, primarily those involving an inflammatory component. Recent investigations have revealed that one of the effects of long-term usage of steroids is the depletion of skin mast cells. This led to the treatment of patients with urticaria pigmentosa with topical high potency corticosteroids for 6 weeks. At the end of treatment there was a marked reduction in tissue histamine and an absence of mast cells as well as a disappearance of pruritus and Darier’s sign. Treated areas remained clinically improved for at least 9-12 months. Observations that corticosteroids profoundly affect mast cells in vivo provides a rationale to devise new treat-ment regimens for mast-cell-related diseases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)213-216
Number of pages4
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jan 1 1987


  • Atrophy
  • Corticosteroids
  • Cutaneous physiology
  • Dermis
  • Epidermis
  • Mast cell depletion
  • Mast cells
  • Pulse-like therapy
  • Urticaria pigmentosa

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dermatology


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