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The Steroid-Sparing Effect of an Emollient Therapy in Infants with Atopic Dermatitis: A Randomized Controlled Study

Grimalt R.a · Mengeaud V.b · Cambazard F.c
aHospital Clinic, University of Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain; bInstitut de Recherche Pierre Fabre, Ramonville, and cService de Dermatologie, Hôpital Nord, Saint-Etienne, France Dermatology 2007;214:61–67 (DOI:10.1159/000096915)


Background: No study has clearly demonstrated the steroid-sparing effect of emollients in the treatment of atopic dermatitis (AD). Aim: Evaluating the effect of an emollient containing oat extracts on the amount of topical corticosteroids used in infants with moderate to severe AD. Study Design: During 6 weeks, 173 infants under 12 months old treated for inflammatory lesions by moderate- and/or high-potency topical corticosteroids randomly received the emollient or not (control group). Methods: Evaluation of corticosteroid consumption by weighing the tubes, disease severity by the Scoring Atopic Dermatitis Index (SCORAD), and infants’ and parents’ quality of life by Infant’s Dermatitis Quality of Life Index and Dermatitis Family Impact scores at D0, D21 and D42. Results: Compared to the control group, the amount of moderate- and high-potency corticosteroids used in 6 weeks decreased by 7.5% (not significant) and 42% (p < 0.05), respectively, in the emollient group. The SCORAD index, and infants’ and parents’ quality of life significantly improved (p < 0.0001) in both groups. Conclusion: The emollient treatment significantly reduced the high-potency topical corticosteroid consumption in infants with AD.


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