Betamethasone is a glucocorticoid receptor agonist. This leads to changes in genetic expression once this complex binds to the GRE. The antiinflammatory actions of corticosteroids are thought to involve lipocortins, phospholipase A2 inhibitory proteins which, through inhibition arachidonic acid, control the biosynthesis of prostaglandins and leukotrienes. The immune system is suppressed by corticosteroids due to a decrease in the function of the lymphatic system, a reduction in immunoglobulin and complement concentrations, the precipitation of lymphocytopenia, and interference with antigen-antibody binding. Betamethasone binds to plasma transcortin, and it becomes active when it is not bound to transcortin.
Salicylic acid directly and irreversibly inhibits the activity of both types of cyclo-oxygenases (COX-1 and COX-2) to decrease the formation of precursors of prostaglandins and thromboxanes from arachidonic acid. Salicylate may competitively inhibit prostaglandin formation. Salicylate’s antirheumatic (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory) actions are a result of its analgesic and anti-inflammatory mechanisms. Salicylic acid is a key ingredient in many skin-care products for the treatment of acne, psoriasis, calluses, corns, keratosis pilaris, and warts. It works by causing the cells of the epidermis to slough off more readily, preventing pores from clogging up, and allowing room for new cell growth. Because of its effect on skin cells, salicylic acid is used in several shampoos used to treat dandruff.