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Topical Sulfur Cream 2.0% Demonstrates Equal Efficacy in Hand Eczema as Triamcinolone 0.1% Cream


Both cream options were capable of reducing scores of itching, drying, burning, redness, and more.

Veronika Klim/Adobe Stock
Veronika Klim/Adobe Stock

A recent study conducted in Isfahan, Iran, aimed to evaluate the efficacy of sulfur cream 2.0% compared to the traditional therapy of triamcinolone 0.1% in treating chronic hand eczema. The study, published in the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, found that both topical creams possessed equal efficacy in this indication.

The randomized, triple-blind clinical trial involved 70 patients diagnosed with chronic hand eczema who were divided into 2 groups, each receiving either triamcinolone or sulfur cream for a duration of 4 weeks.

Patients were randomly assigned to receive either triamcinolone or sulfur cream, with neither the participants nor the medical professionals involved aware of which treatment was administered. Confounding factors such as a history of atopy, use of detergents, and environmental contacts were taken into consideration.

Both triamcinolone and sulfur creams demonstrated significant efficacy in reducing the severity of hand eczema symptoms. Triamcinolone cream reduced Hand Eczema Severity Index (HECSI) scores, itching, dryness, burning sensation, and erythema after 4 weeks of therapy. Similarly, sulfur cream showed comparable effectiveness, with reductions observed across all measured parameters immediately after treatment.

Additionally, sulfur cream demonstrated superiority over triamcinolone in some aspects. Itching, dryness, and erythema were significantly more reduced by sulfur cream than by triamcinolone cream immediately after treatment. Moreover, sulfur cream's therapeutic effects continued even after the follow-up period, indicating sustained efficacy over time.

The safety profile of sulfur cream was favorable, and no adverse reactions were reported during the study.

"Sulfur, used in treating several dermatological disorders, has antifungal, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and keratolytic properties," according to Asilian et al. "Topical sulfur cream (2.0%) is as effective as triamcinolone (0.1%) cream in the treatment of HE without significant adverse reactions."


Asilian A, Mohammadian P, Hosseini SM, et al. Comparison of the effect of topical triamcinolone 0.1% cream with sulfur 2.0% cream in the treatment of patients with hand eczema: A randomized controlled trial. J Cosmet Dermatol. February 4, 2024. Accessed February 9, 2024. https://doi.org/10.1111/jocd.16208

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