Jessica Payne BS, Kyle A. Habet MD, Adrian Pona MD, Steven R. Feldman MD PhD
Center for Dermatology Research, Department of Dermatology, Wake Forest School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, NC
Department of Pathology, Wake Forest School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, NC
Department of Social Sciences & Health Policy, Wake Forest School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, NC
Background: Topical corticosteroids are efficacious treatment options for multiple dermatoses. However, ointments and cream corticosteroid vehicles can be cumbersome to patients and may act as a barrier to adherence. Foam vehicles may be preferred by some patients.
Objective: To evaluate the efficacy and safety of topical corticosteroid foams.
Methods: A literature review was conducted using the keywords “clobetasol,” “betamethasone,” “propionate,” “valerate,” “topical,” “foam,” “vehicles,” “desonide,” and “clinical trial.” Thirty-seven articles were chosen.
Results: For moderate plaque-type psoriasis, 68% of subjects using clobetasol propionate foam achieved a Physician Static Global Assessment score of 0 or 1 at week 2 compared with 21% in the control group (P<0.0001). For betamethasone valerate (BMV) foam, a 12-week regimen for alopecia areata yielded a mean Investigator Global Assessment score of 2.9 compared with placebo (4.6;
P<0.001) and achieved ≥75% hair regrowth in 42.86% of subjects. Furthermore, BMV foam cleared or almost cleared 72% of scalp psoriasis subjects compared with BMV lotion (P≤0.005%). For calcipotriol plus betamethasone dipropionate foam, 38.3% of psoriasis subjects achieved treatment success compared with placebo (22.5%; P<0.001). Desonide 0.05% foam was superior to vehicle foam in pediatric atopic dermatitis subjects.
Conclusion: Topical corticosteroid foams can be used for a variety of corticosteroid-responsive dermatoses. Topical corticosteroid foams are generally easy to apply and may improve patient adherence and, therefore, clinical outcome in patients who prefer a convenient and less messy topical therapy.
J Drugs Dermatol. 2019;18(8):217-235.
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