288 patients were used to evaluated the effectiveness of lithium gluconate compared to that of ketoconazole in the treatment of seborrheic dermatitis.
- Lithium gluconate 8% ointment
- Ketoconazole 2% emulsion
- Lithium gluconate produced superior results (22% more effective).
- Complete remission after 4 weeks:
- 28.1% of lithitum gluconate users
- 16% of ketoconazole users
- Complete remission after 8 weeks:
- 57.8% of lithitum gluconate users
- 32.8% of ketoconazole users
- Adverse effects were reported in 26.3% of lithium users vs 25% of ketoconazole users .
- Lithium gluconate showed better results on secondary symptoms (dryness, burning)
- Complete remission was achieved in
Additional Points of Interest:
- Lithiums’ usefulness for seborrheic dermatitis was first discovered when a reduction of seborrheic dermatitis was noted in patients using lithitum salts for the treatment for psychotic syndrome.
- While patients found ketconazole less sticky, ease of application was considered superior for the lithium gluconate.
- Main adverse reactions included: reddening of the skin, burning, and dryness.
- Exact method in which lithium salts resolve seborrheic dermatitis is unclear. However, several theories include:
- Inhibition of malassezia furfur
- Inhibition of free fatty acid production (necessary for growth of malassezia)
- Anti-inflammatory effect of lithium salts by inhibition of arachidonic acid production
Lithitum gluconate appears to have better effectiveness then ketoconazole for the treatment of seborrheic dermatitis.