A Review of Topical Corticosteroid Sprays for the Treatment of Inflammatory Dermatoses

Dermatol Online J. 2019 Aug 15;25(8):13030/qt0855j2zz.


Background: Topical corticosteroids are available in many vehicles. However, patients' preference for vehicles are variable and could be tailored to maximize patient adherence. Spray vehicles may offer, convenience, and strong efficacy.

Methods: A literature review was conducted using keywords: clobetasol, desoximetasone, betamethasone, triamcinolone, corticosteroid, topical, spray, vehicles, treatment, and clinical trial.

Results: For moderate-to-severe plaque psoriasis, 87% of subjects achieved an Overall Disease Severity (ODS) Score ≤2 at week two and 78% achieved an ODS ≤1 after four weeks with clobetasol propionate (CP) 0.05% spray compared to 17% and 3% in the control group, respectively (P<0.001). For desoximetasone 0.25% spray, 31%-53% with moderate-to-severe psoriasis achieve Physician's Global Assessment (PGA) score ≤1 at day 28 versus 5%-18% in the vehicle spray group (P<0.01). For betamethasone dipropionate 0.05% spray, 19% with mild-to-moderate plaque psoriasis achieved an Investigator's Global Assessment (IGA) score ≤1 or a 2-grade reduction in IGA versus 2.3% in vehicle group (P≤0.001). For mild-to-severe steroid responsive inflammatory dermatoses, 64% using triamcinolone acetonide 0.2% spray achieved clear or almost clear skin at day 14 (no P value reported). Adverse events including burning, irritation, and dryness were similar across all corticosteroids.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Cutaneous
  • Aerosols*
  • Dermatitis / drug therapy
  • Glucocorticoids / administration & dosage*
  • Humans
  • Inflammation
  • Medication Adherence
  • Patient Preference
  • Psoriasis / drug therapy*


  • Aerosols
  • Glucocorticoids