Why Does The Hydrocortisone in SmartLotion® Not Cause Side-Effects?

Stuart Millar Updated by Stuart Millar

As far as we know, SmartLotion® is the only commercially-available product in the world that contains a corticosteroid (0.75% hydrocortisone) and cannot cause side effects when used as instructed.

This causes a lot of disbelief, which is why we created this article.

Before we begin, we need to establish some background information. According to Dr. Steve Harlan, MD, FAAD, a Board-certified, currently practicing Doctor of Dermatology...

There are 3 types of corticosteroid side effects, as follows:

  1. Thinning or atrophy of the skin, which is well known and reversible.  
  2. Inflammatory and acne-like side effects caused by overgrowth of an abnormal microbiome. 
  3. The poorly understood immune dysregulation that causes burning rashes and topical steroid withdrawal (TSW).

In 2008, Dr. Harlan published a peer-reviewed study in the Journal of Drugs and Dermatology on the safety of using a compounded mixture of 0.75% hydrocortisone and 0.5% precipitated sulfur to treat mild dermatitis in an ongoing basis over a period of time of up to 15 years.

As you may have guessed, 0.75% hydrocortisone and 0.5% precipitated sulfur are the key ingredients in the SmartLotion® formula.

The results of the study said the following:

"None of the 300 patients experienced steroid acne, rebound phenomenon, or perioral dermatitis associated with use of hydrocortisone 0.75% and precipitated sulfur 0.5% on the face."

Which allowed Dr. Harlan to determine the following conclusion:

"There was no evidence found that perioral dermatitis, steroid acne, or rebound phenomenon occurs when sulfur is compounded with topical hydrocortisone 0.75%."

Each of the 3 listed symptoms that Dr. Harlan was testing for is directly connected to 1 of the 3 types of corticosteroid side effects listed above.

Thinning skin is directly connected to perioral dermatitis, the abnormal microbiome side effect is directly connected to steroid acne, and immune dysregulation (topical steroid withdrawal) is 100% synonymous with steroid rebound phenomenon.

Dr. Harlan proved in his study that the combination of hydrocortisone (0.75%) and elemental sulfur (0.5%) does not cause any of the 3 types of steroid side effects.

The reason why SmartLotion® is the only steroid-containing product in the world that does not cause side-effects is because it is the only product in the world that uses Dr. Harlan's unique combination of 0.75% hydrocortisone and 0.5% sulfur.

In order to be completely transparent, we must note the following:

The reason why we say that SmartLotion® will not cause side effects when used as directed is because according to Dr. Harlan, if SmartLotion® is applied to a sensitive area (like facial skin) in an abusive manner (many more times per day than recommended by Dr. Harlan), SmartLotion® can cause the skin-thinning side effect.

However, it is important to note that even if this happens, it is only temporary and is easily reversible.

According to Dr. Harlan, it is impossible for SmartLotion® to cause the microbiome (steroid acne) or immune dysregulation (topical steroid withdrawal) side effects, regardless of how abusively it is applied.


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