Steroids with glucocorticosteroid activity have been widely used as anti-inflammatory agents in the skin. The disadvantages are that such substances may reduce resistance to infection, although this may be countered by antiseptics or antibiotics, and that they may inhibit the healing of damaged tissues. The question arises whether it is possible to counteract the inhibition of healing without also suppressing the anti-inflammatory action.
One basic feature of the healing process in inflamed skin is the production of new cells by mitosis, and the mitotic rate can be used as a measure of the healing activity. It is well known that relatively high concentrations of glucocorticosteroid hormones can inhibit normal epidermal mitotic activity (see Bullough, 1965), and such high concentrations are certainly reached during topical treatment.
In the present investigation an attempt has been made to prevent the dexamethasone-induced mitotic inhibition in normal epidermis by coincident treatment with nandrolone decanoate which