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Tacrolimus inhibits T-lymphocyte activation and dermal Langerhans' cells, without the side-effects of corticosteroids. The safety profile of tacrolimus makes it a promising therapeutic option for dermatitis affecting the delicate periorbital skin. To access the efficacy and tolerability of tacrolimus ointment 0.1% in the treatment of allergic contact eyelid dermatitis. Twenty adults (16 women, 4 men) with eyelid dermatitis and with at least one positive patch test reaction to relevant contact allergens were treated with topical tacrolimus in a prospective, open-label, non-comparative clinical study. Dermatitis was graded at baseline, at day 30 and day 60, using a 4-point grading system for the following parameters: erythema, oedema, scaling, lichenification, fissuring (investigator assessment) and burning/stinging and pruritus (patient assessment). All patients completed the study. Erythema, oedema, scaling and lichenification showed improvement from baseline to 30 days of treatment ( P < 0.001), but fissuring was not significantly affected. At 60 days, no further improvement of these investigator parameters was observed. Patient parameters improved significantly by day 30 ( P < 0.004) and there was a trend for further improvement at the end of 60 days (for burning, P = 0.046; for pruritus, P = 0.059). Ten per cent of patients mentioned burning and itching, at the application site, during the first days of treatment. No other adverse events were observed. Topical tacrolimus is a promising alternative in patients with allergic contact eyelid dermatitis. Therapy was effective by 1 month and was well tolerated. These preliminary results merit a larger, controlled, study.


A Katsarou, M Armenaka, V Vosynioti, E Lagogianni, D Kalogeromitros, A Katsambas. Tacrolimus ointment 0.1% in the treatment of allergic contact eyelid dermatitis. Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology : JEADV. 2009 Apr;23(4):382-7

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PMID: 19207676

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