Treatment of eczema with a mixture of triamcinolone acetonide and retinoic acid: a double-blind study

Dermatology. 1993;187(4):263-7. doi: 10.1159/000247260.


Dermo-epidermal atrophy is one of the main side effects of long-term treatment with topical corticosteroids (TC). Retinoic acid (RA) may prevent and even reverse these effects in animals. It has been previously established that topical RA (TRA) does not inhibit corticosteroid-induced vasoconstriction in humans, thus suggesting that RA, combined with TC, does not interfere with its anti-inflammatory property. The next step was to test this association in patients with inflammatory skin disorders. In this symmetrical double-blind study, triamcinolone acetonide (TA) cream 0.1% and a cream containing TA 0.1% plus RA 0.025% (TARA) were compared in 18 subjects with eczema. No statistical difference between both treatments was observed after 1, 2 and 3 weeks, although on the TARA-treated sides the anti-inflammatory responses were slightly less pronounced. Subjective irritation was significantly more frequent in TARA-treated side (3/17, p = 0.05) but did not lead to interruption of the treatment. This indicates that addition of RA 0.025% to a medium-range potency topical steroid does not abrogate the anti-inflammatory property of the latter and that the association can be tolerated by inflamed skin.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Controlled Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Dermatitis, Allergic Contact / drug therapy
  • Dermatitis, Allergic Contact / pathology
  • Dermatitis, Atopic / drug therapy
  • Dermatitis, Atopic / pathology
  • Dermatitis, Irritant / etiology
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Drug Combinations
  • Drug Tolerance
  • Eczema / drug therapy*
  • Eczema / pathology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Tretinoin / administration & dosage
  • Tretinoin / adverse effects
  • Tretinoin / therapeutic use*
  • Triamcinolone Acetonide / administration & dosage
  • Triamcinolone Acetonide / adverse effects
  • Triamcinolone Acetonide / therapeutic use*


  • Drug Combinations
  • Tretinoin
  • Triamcinolone Acetonide