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Colorful dyes and other vibrant topical creams as treatments for dermatological conditions

  • Gaurav Agnihotri
  • Sumul Gandhi
  • Peter A. LioEmail author
Review Article
  • 6 Downloads

Abstract

This review summarizes the mechanisms, applications, and adverse effects of colorful dyes, such as Castellani’s paint, gentian violet, and potassium permanganate, as well as two other vibrant topical creams—vitamin B12 and indigo naturalis. Certain dyes such as Castellani’s paint, gentian violet, and potassium permanganate were once commonplace topical therapies for cutaneous infections; these dyes are brightly colored on application and have been suggested to be efficacious and well tolerated through case studies as well as controlled studies. Moreover, topical vitamin B12 and topical indigo naturalis creams for atopic dermatitis and psoriasis have been extensively studied through multiple controlled trials and may also be effective, with minimal adverse effects. Understanding the composition and mechanism of action has helped guide the development of these therapies.

Notes

Compliance with ethical standards

Funding

No sources of funding were received to prepare this article.

Conflict of interest

Gaurav Agnihotri and Sumul Gandhi report no conflicts of interest. Peter A. Lio has served as a consultant or advisor to Abbvie, Altus, AOBiome, Dermavant, Dermira, Eli Lilly, Exeltis, Franklin BioScience, Galderma, IntraDerm, Johnson and Johnson, La Roche-Psay, Menlo, Micreos, Mission, Pfizer, Pierre Fabre, Realm, Regeneron/Sanofi-Genzyme, Theraplex, UCB, and Unilever; has served as a speaker for Pfizer, Regeneron/Sanofi-Genzyme, La Roche-Posay, and Pierre Fabre; and has been an investigator and received research grants/funding from AOBiome, Regeneron/Sanofi-Genzyme, and Abbvie.

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of Illinois at Chicago College of MedicineChicagoUSA
  2. 2.Quincy Medical GroupQuincyUSA
  3. 3.Department of Dermatology, Feinberg School of MedicineNorthwestern UniversityChicagoUSA

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