ESpecific Keratolytic Agents

NOTE: You will see chemicals (1) through (4) present in several manufactured products. You might be called upon to compound or manufacture products containing one or more of these substances. If you handle these chemicals, remember that they are irritating to the skin. You should wash your hands immediately after working with them.

(1) Coal tar (chemical name). This agent is used as a keratoplastic in the treatment of eczema, psoriasis, and seborrheic dermatitis.

(2) Salicylic acid (chemical name). It is used as a keratolytic when present in concentrations of from 5% to 20%. It is used as a kerato- plastic when present in concentrations of from 1% to 2%.

(3) Sulfur (chemical name). Sulfur is used as a keratoplastic in the treatment of acne and seborrheic dermatitis.

(4) Tretinoin (topical) (Retin A®). This agent is used in the treatment of severe acne. The application of this agent to the skin will produce a horny layer of skin that is more easily removed. It is important that the patient use this preparation as directed by the physician and package directions. This medicine should not be applied to windburned or sunburned skin. It should not be applied to open wounds. Furthermore, the medication should not be applied inside the nose, around the eyes, or around the mouth. While the patient is using the medication, he should avoid exposing the area being treated to too much wind or sun (or sun lamp). When the patient begins using this product, he may find that he is more sensitive to cold temperatures and to wind than before; therefore, protection should be worn until the persons sees how he reacts. This product is available in cream, liquid, and gel.

(5) Salicylic acid 2% and sulfur 2% (Fostex®). This preparation is available in cream or soap. It is used to treat acne.

(6) Salicylic acid 2% and Sulfur 2% shampoo (Sebulex® or Sebra®). This shampoo is used to treat dandruff.

(7) Salicylic acid 2%, coal tar 0.5%, and sulfur 2% shampoo (Sebutone® or Sebra T®). This product is used to treat dandruff.

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