Seborrheic dermatitis (SD), a common dermatosis associating hyperseborrhea, erythema, itching, and dandruff, has frequent scalp involvement. Malassezia furfur infection seems to play an important role in the condition’s etiopathology. Treatment of SD usually consists of corticosteroids or antifungals, such as ketoconazole. The aim of this multicenter, randomized, investigator-blinded, parallel-group pilot study was to evaluate the efficacy and safety of clobetasol propionate shampoo 0.05% after different short-contact application times compared with its vehicle and ketoconazole foaming gel 2% in the treatment of SD of the scalp. For 4 weeks, 55 subjects received one of the following treatments twice weekly: clobetasol propionate shampoo for 2.5, 5, or 10 minutes; clobetasol propionate vehicle for 10 minutes; or ketoconazole foaming gel for 5 minutes before rinsing off. Efficacy criteria included total severity score (TSS) and individual scores of signs such as itching and global improvement. Safety included reporting of burning, overall tolerance, and adverse events. Results showed that an application of clobetasol propionate for 5 and 10 minutes provided a similar mean percentage decrease of TSS, and the mean percentage decrease of TSS for all active groups was significantly superior to that of the vehicle (P≤.01). Overall and local safety were good for all treatment groups.
The present pilot study demonstrated that a short-contact application of clobetasol propionate shampoo is effective and safe in the treatment of SD of the scalp.