Keratolytics

a. Definition. A keratolytic is an agent that induces sloughing of cornified epithelium (horny or hard layer of the skin).

b. General Considerations. Keratolytic drugs act to damage the cornifled layer of skin that is then sloughed off to whatever depth the agent has acted. A keratoplastic (mild keratolytic) effect is seen when the drug does not produce a rapid destruction and sloughing, thereby softening the keratin and loosening the cornified epithelium.

c. Indications for the Use of Keratolytic Agents. Keratolytic agents are used to remove warts and corns. They are also used in the treatment of severe acne.

d. Indications for the Use of Keratoplastic Agents. Keratoplastic agents are used in the treatment of acne, eczema, psoriasis, and seborrheic dermatitis.

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