Randomized, double-blind, split-side comparison study of moisturizer containing licochalcone vs. 1% hydrocortisone in the treatment of infantile seborrhoeic dermatitis

J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol. 2012 Jul;26(7):894-7. doi: 10.1111/j.1468-3083.2011.04187.x. Epub 2011 Jul 26.


Background: Infantile seborrhoeic dermatitis (ISD) is a common skin lesion in infants. There may be differences in recommendation for treatment of ISD.

Objective: To compare the efficacy of moisturizer containing licochalcone vs. 1% hydrocortisone for the treatment of ISD.

Methods: This was a randomized, prospective, split-side, double-blind study that was conducted in 75 infants between the age of 2 weeks and 1 year. Patients with a clinical diagnosis of ISD were treated twice daily, simultaneously with either moisturizer containing 0.025% licochalcone or 1% hydrocortisone on opposite sides of the lesion. The scoring system was used to assess the severity of the rash by the presence of erythema, scale and crusts. The lesions on each side were evaluated on day 0, 3-4, 6-7 and 14.

Results: A total of 72 patients completed the study. The moisturizer containing licochalcone group had a higher clearing rate (42%) compared to 1% hydrocortisone group (32%) (P=0.03) on day 3-4. Both products were equally effective in the treatment at day 6-7 and 14 (P=0.45 and 1, respectively). By the end of the second week, the cure rate of the moisturizer containing 0.025% licochalcone and 1% hydrocortisone group was 90% and 92%, respectively.

Limitations: The small sample size was a study limitation.

Conclusion: Moisturizer containing 0.025% licochalcone had higher cure rate compared to 1% hydrocortisone for the treatment of ISD at day 3-4. However, by the end of the first week, this difference was no longer significant.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Topical
  • Chalcones / administration & dosage
  • Chalcones / therapeutic use*
  • Dermatitis, Seborrheic / drug therapy*
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hydrocortisone / administration & dosage
  • Hydrocortisone / therapeutic use*
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Prospective Studies
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Chalcones
  • Hydrocortisone