Principles of Topical Therapy

John Berth‐Jones


Dermatologists have the good fortune to work on the most accessible organ of the body. Many inflammatory and neoplastic conditions can be effectively managed using the wide range of locally applied physical or pharmacological modalities that are available. The latter are the subject of this chapter, which reviews the pharmacological treatments used topically, i.e. by application to the surface of the skin. Some of these are time‐honoured treatments that have been used for a century or more, whilst others belong to the ever‐expanding range of newer and increasingly potent agents constantly being developed and formulated for topical use. Topical treatment offers the potential to achieve high concentrations of a drug in the skin with minimal exposure of other organs. This can greatly increase efficacy and also safety relative to systemic administration. When side effects do occur, they are most likely to take the form of localized reactions.
Keywords topical, therapy


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