A novel series of carboxylic and hydroxamic acids based on 1,8-dihydroxy-9(10H)-anthracenone were synthesized from 8-hydroxy-1-methoxy-9,10-anthracenedione as the key intermediate and evaluated both in the bovine polymorphonuclear leukocyte 5-lipoxygenase (5-LO) assay and in the HaCaT keratinocyte proliferation assay for their enzyme inhibitory and antiproliferative activity, respectively. The most potent inhibitors in both assays were the N-methylated hydroxamic acids 5d-8d with straight chain alkyl spacers. Incorporation of these structural features on the anthracenone pharmacophore resulted in increased inhibitory activity against 5-LO while the antiproliferative activity was retained. In addition, prooxidant properties as measured by deoxyribose degradation and cytotoxicity as assessed by LDH release were largely reduced as compared with the antipsoriatic anthralin. Contrary to anthralin, antioxidant properties were observed as documented by the reactivity of the novel compounds against free radicals and inhibition of lipid peroxidation in model membranes.