As a topical anti-inflammatory, MCC has been shown to match the efficacy of more potent corticosteroids, but without the side effects and without inhibiting wound healing. Topical corticosteroids are contra-indicated in infective skin diseases.
MCC molecules are effective in treating various inflammatory skin diseases by blocking the inflammatory cascade central to such diseases. They do this by weakening one of the two key signal transduction pathways within cells involved in the cells' inflammatory response. The fact that MCC affects only part of a cell's inflammatory response mechanism may explain why it does not have side effects like corticosteroids and other immunosuppressive drugs.
Houck and Vickers have demonstrated that there is an anti-inflammatory activity and acceleration of tissue repair by MCC. Inflammation involves three major changes in dermal chemistry:
- The disappearance of stainable acid mucopolysaccharides from the necrotic lesion
- The appearance of large amounts of endogenously synthesized glycoprotein in the ground substance of the wound
- The loss of large amounts of insoluble collagen from the site of local injury
The Houck and Vickers studies show that with the topical application of MCC, the time required to restore dermal chemistry back to normal is reduced by almost 50%.