Effects of topical ammonium lactate on cutaneous atrophy from a potent topical corticosteroid

R. M. Lavker*, K. Kaidbey, J. J. Leyden

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

86 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)535-544
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of the American Academy of Dermatology
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1992

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dermatology


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