• EpiDerm™;
  • Fick's Law;
  • Franz Cell;
  • Higuchi Equation;
  • Gel;
  • Hydrocortisone Topical Products;
  • Permeability


Objectives.  The penetration of hydrocortisone (HC) from six topical over-the-counter products along with one prescription cream through cultured normal human-derived epidermal keratinocytes (Epiderm™), mouse skin and synthetic nylon membrane was performed as well as the effect hydrating the skin by pre-washing was explored using the Upright Franz Cell.

Method and Results.  Permeation of HC through EpiDerm™, mouse skin and synthetic membrane was highest with the topical HC gel formulation with prewash treatment of the membranes among seven products evaluated, 198 ± 32 µg/cm2, 746.32 ± 12.43 µg/cm2, and 1882 ± 395.18 µg/cm2, respectively. Pre-washing to hydrate the skin enhanced HC penetration through EpiDerm™ and mouse skin. The 24-hour HC released from topical gel with prewash treatment was 198.495 ± 32 µg/cm2 and 746.32 ± 12.43 µg/cm2 while without prewash, the 24-h HC released from topical gel was 67.2 ± 7.41 µg/cm2 and 653.43 ± 85.62 µg/cm2 though EpiDerm™ and mouse skin, respectively. HC penetration through synthetic membrane was ten times greater than through mouse skin and EpiDerm™. Generally, the shape, pattern, and rank order of HC diffusion from each commercial product was similar through each membrane.