Association of glycerol and paraffin in the treatment of ichthyosis in children: an international, multicentric, randomized, controlled, double-blind study

J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol. 2012 Aug;26(8):1014-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1468-3083.2011.04304.x. Epub 2011 Nov 28.


Background: Efficacy and tolerance should be considered in topical treatments of chronicle affections with impaired skin barrier function such as ichthyosis.

Objectives: To demonstrate the efficacy of Dexeryl in reducing severity of ichthyosis.

Methods: A prospective, multicentre, randomized, placebo controlled study was performed with patients under 18 years suffering from a non-bullous form of ichthyosis. A double-blind period using Dexeryl (an emollient cream containing glycerol 15% and paraffin 10%) or placebo (its vehicle) during 4 weeks followed by an open label period with all patients treated by Dexeryl for 8 weeks. Improvement of ichthyosis was assessed by cutaneous xerosis evolution (SRRC score): the percentage of patients with 50% reduction of the SRRC score at D28 was the primary criterion. The assessment of pruritus [visual analogue scale (VAS)], global evaluation and safety were secondary.

Results: The percentage of patients with at least 50% reduction of SRRC score at D28 was significantly higher in Dexeryl group (60.3%) vs. vehicle group (43.5%; P = 0.008). Reduction of pruritus on VAS was significantly higher at D28 with Dexeryl (-2.16) compared to that in placebo (-1.49), P < 0.05. The improvement continues through the open label period: at D84 we observed -2.5 of SRRC score in the Dexeryl group vs.-1.8 for the group previously treated by vehicle. Investigators found Dexeryl efficacy as satisfying for about 80% of treated patients vs. 50% with vehicle. Concerning safety, most of the adverse events were not related to treatment.

Conclusions: Dexeryl showed a significant improvement of xerosis and related symptoms in children with ichthyosis and was well tolerated.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Female
  • Glycerol / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Ichthyosis / drug therapy*
  • Male
  • Paraffin / therapeutic use*


  • Paraffin
  • Glycerol