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Comparison of efficacy and safety of atorvastatin 5% lotion and betamethasone 0.1% lotion in the treatment of scalp seborrheic dermatitis

Authors Sobhan M, Gholampoor G, Firozian F, Mohammadi Y, Mehrpooya M

Received 29 November 2018

Accepted for publication 5 March 2019

Published 29 April 2019 Volume 2019:12 Pages 267—275


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Jeffrey Weinberg

Mohammadreza Sobhan,1 Ghazal Gholampoor,2 Farzin Firozian,3,4 Younes Mohammadi,5 Maryam Mehrpooya2

1Psoriasis Research Center, Department of Dermatology, Farshchian Hospital, Hamadan University of Medical Sciences, Hamadan, Iran; 2Department of Clinical Pharmacy, School of Pharmacy, Hamadan University of Medical Sciences, Hamadan, Iran; 3Medicinal Plants and Natural Products Research Center, Hamadan University of Medical Sciences, Hamadan, Iran; 4Department of Pharmaceutics, School of Pharmacy, Hamadan University of Medical Sciences, Hamadan, Iran; 5Modeling of Noncommunicable Diseases Research Center, School of Public Health, Hamadan University of Medical Sciences, Hamadan, Iran

Purpose: Seborrheic dermatitis (SD) is a chronic inflammatory skin disorder that mainly affects areas rich in sebaceous glands, such as the scalp. Although the exact cause of SD is not clearly understood, it seems that skin colonization with Malassezia fungus and the inflammatory responses of the immune system to this fungus play an important role in the pathology of SD. Recently a growing body of evidence has shown anti-inflammatory and anti-fungal effects of statins. Thus, this study aimed to evaluate the efficacy of topical atorvastatin in the treatment of scalp SD.
Patients and methods: In this double-blind, clinical trial, 86 patients with mild-to-moderate scalp SD were divided into either atorvastatin (n=45) or betamethasone groups (n=41) by block randomization method. In addition to the ketoconazole 2% shampoo (3 times per week), the atorvastatin group received atorvastatin 5% lotion and the betamethasone group received betamethasone 0.1% lotion daily for 4 weeks. The SD severity of each patient was determined by Symptom Scale of Seborrheic Dermatitis (SSSD) at baseline and 4 weeks after treatment. Also, the patient’s satisfaction of the treatment and adverse effects were investigated through individual reporting.
Results: After 4 weeks of treatment, the score of SD severity decreased significantly in both groups, while changes of SSSD score from baseline to the fourth week of treatment were comparable in the two groups (P-value=0.476). Regarding patient’s satisfaction of the treatment, results demonstrated the non-inferiority of atorvastatin as compared to betamethasone. Topical atorvastatin was also well-tolerated in almost all patients.
Conclusion: Although preliminary, the results of the present study showed that topical atorvastatin has a comparable effect to topical betamethasone and can be considered as an alternative therapeutic modality in the treatment of scalp SD. However, these results need to be confirmed in future studies while taking into consideration the improvement of topical statin formulations.

Keywords: seborrheic dermatitis, anti-inflammatory effects, topical statin, skin disorders

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