Institute of Dermatology, Homerton Grove, London, and * Plymouth General Hospital, Greenbank, Plymouth, Devon Despite the advent of photochemotherapy anthralin remains the routine treatment of chronic plaque psoriasis for most clinicians. This is because many years' experience has shown that anthralin treatment is free of serious side effects. Nevertheless, minor but troublesome side effects have limited its acceptability to patients. In order to examine the pharmacological basis of anthralin irritation we have used a simple technique for establishing the minimal erythemal concentration (MEC) in human skin. METHOD Circular glass wells (internal diameter 14 mm and open at both ends) are applied to the upper back of normal adult volunteers. Using different skin sites, a range of concentrations of chromatographically purified anthralin (i,8-dihydroxy-9-anthrone) dissolved in chloroform (volume i ml) is placed in the wells for 60 s. The sites are examined for redness at 24, 48 and 72 h after application. The MEC is defined as the lowest concentration giving visible confiuent erythema corresponding to the circular cross-sectional area of the well. The following concentrations (mg/ioo ml) of anthralin in chloroform were studied: 8,12,20,30,40, and 60. Each experiment included a negative control (chloroform only). In eighteen Caucasian subjects (thirteen
British Journal of Dermatology – Wiley
Published: Aug 1, 1981
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