Atopic dermatitis (AD) is a common chronic inflammatory skin lesion in children. Topical corticosteroid is the mainstay of treatment.

To compare the efficacy of moisturizer containing licochalcone A (LicA) and 1% hydrocortisone for the treatment of mild to moderate childhood AD.

This was a multicenter randomized, prospective, split-side, double-blind study in 55 children between the age of three months and 14 years. Patients with AD were treated twice daily, simultaneously with either Lic A or 1% hydrocortisone on opposite sides of the lesion. The SCORAD and transepidermal water loss (TEWL) were performed at the baseline, 2-week, and 4-week visits. Lic A was used on both sides of the body for another four weeks to see the effects and TEWL.

In a randomized period, both products were equally effective in the treatment. SCORAD decreased significantly from baseline for both treatments throughout the first four weeks (p < 0.001). There was no statistically significant difference in SCORAD between both treatments (p = 0.321 and p = 0.146 at week 2 and 4, respectively). Lic A had statistically significant decrease in TEWL (p = 0.027 and p = 0.03 at weeks 2 and 4, respectively). One patient had infection on skin lesions of both sides of the body. Forty-three patients continued to the period of using Lic A on both sides of the body. SCORAD and TEWL were comparable to the end of the randomized period and significantly lower from baseline (p < 0.001). Skin lesions flared up in three patients (7.5%).

Lic A had a similar result in terms of SCORAD compared to 1% hydrocortisone for the treatment of mild and moderate AD. TEWL was significantly lower than baseline on the side that used Lic A. Continuing use of Lic A for four weeks can maintain clinical and barrier improvement.

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