Few studies evaluate the effect of topical corticosteroids on thermal sensation and in alleviation of itch produced by intradermal injection of histamine. We evaluated the antipruritic effect of hydrocortisone (1% and 2.5%) on histamine-induced itch and sensory effects by measuring itch magnitude, itch duration and thermal thresholds using a computerized thermal sensory analyzer (TSA). This was a double-blind, random, comparative, controlled, single-dose and single-center study. Itch was experimentally induced in both forearms by intracutaneous injection of histamine in 18 subjects. Hydrocortisone 1%, 2.5% and placebo were applied to test sites on both forearms. The thermal threshold for warmth sensation, cold sensation, cold and heat pain was measured with the TSA. Itch magnitude was measured each minute after histamine injection for 10 min with a visual analogue scale (VAS). Itch duration was also recorded. In comparison to placebo, 2.5% hydrocortisone significantly (p = 0.03) reduced itch duration from 12.6 ± 11.0 min (mean ± SD) to 8.6 ± 8.2 min (the reducing rate was 32%) as well as itch magnitude (at minutes 3, 6, 7 and overall). Placebo, 1% and 2.5% hydrocortisone significantly altered (p <0.05) the cold sensation threshold. No treatment altered cold or heat pain thresholds. These data suggest that topical application of 2.5% hydrocortisone may be significantly beneficial for the treatment of histamine-induced itch. The correlation between thermal measurements and antipruritic effects warrants further study.

This content is only available via PDF.
Copyright / Drug Dosage / Disclaimer
Copyright: All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be translated into other languages, reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, microcopying, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher.
Drug Dosage: The authors and the publisher have exerted every effort to ensure that drug selection and dosage set forth in this text are in accord with current recommendations and practice at the time of publication. However, in view of ongoing research, changes in government regulations, and the constant flow of information relating to drug therapy and drug reactions, the reader is urged to check the package insert for each drug for any changes in indications and dosage and for added warnings and precautions. This is particularly important when the recommended agent is a new and/or infrequently employed drug.
Disclaimer: The statements, opinions and data contained in this publication are solely those of the individual authors and contributors and not of the publishers and the editor(s). The appearance of advertisements or/and product references in the publication is not a warranty, endorsement, or approval of the products or services advertised or of their effectiveness, quality or safety. The publisher and the editor(s) disclaim responsibility for any injury to persons or property resulting from any ideas, methods, instructions or products referred to in the content or advertisements.
You do not currently have access to this content.