Background: Topical corticosteroids produce atrophic changes in skin, including thinning of the epidermis and decrease in dermal ground substance. We observed that 12% ammonium lactate produced an increase in the thickness of epidermis and increased amounts of dermal glycosaminoglycans. Objective: Our purpose was to determine whether 12% ammonium lactate could minimize cutaneous atrophy produced by a potent topical corticosteroid. Methods: Clobetasol propionate, 12% ammonium lactate, and both agents were repetitively applied under occlusive patches as well as in open patches on the forearms of human volunteers for 3 to 4 weeks. Biopsy specimens were analyzed for thickness of the epidermis and dermal glycosaminoglycans by image analysis. Results: Twelve percent ammonium lactate produced a significant sparing of atrophy in both the epidermis and dermis without any influence on the bioavailability or anti-inflammatory properties of the corticosteroid. Conclusion: Twelve percent ammonium lactate may be useful in mitigating the adverse effects of corticosteroid on skin.
ASJC Scopus subject areas