Section I. BACKGROUND INFORMATION
1-1. DEFINITION OF DERMATOLOGICAL AGENTS
Dermatological agents are drugs that exert either a chemical or physical action on
the skin to aid in the correction of a disorder of the skin.
1-2. GENERAL CONSIDERATIONS INVOLVING DERMATOLOGICAL AGENTS
a. The vehicles (creams, lotions, ointments, and so forth.) in which therapeutic
ingredients are incorporated and diluted have been found to have pharmacological
properties of their own. This subcourse will not mention these pharmacological
properties of the vehicles. Instead, it will focus strictly on the pharmacological actions
and effects of the therapeutic ingredients.
b. There is a great variation in the manner in which vehicles hold, release, or
assist in the absorption of their therapeutic ingredients. Therefore, it is important that
the vehicle selected to contain a therapeutic ingredient be suitable for use on the portion
of skin on which it will be applied.
c. The distribution of the therapeutic ingredient(s) throughout a vehicle is an
important factor in the determination of a dermatological's effectiveness. You must be
aware of this fact because you might one day be required to compound or manufacture
some of the dermatological products discussed in this subcourse.
Section II. THERAPEUTIC CATEGORIES OF DERMATOLOGICAL AGENTS
a. Definition. Antiseborrheics are used in the management of seborrheic
dermatitis. Seborrheic dermatitis is characterized by a yellowish and greasy scaling of
the scalp and/or mid-parts of the face (around eyebrows and nose) and ears.
b. General Considerations. The ideal antiseborrheic agent should be nontoxic,
relieve pruritus (itching), modify excessive dryness, and demonstrate wide antifungal
and antibacterial spectra.