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Medline ® Abstract for Reference 42

of 'Chronic hand eczema'

Tacrolimus ointment in the treatment of occupationally induced chronic hand dermatitis.
Schliemann S, Kelterer D, Bauer A, John SM, Skudlik C, Schindera I, Wehrmann W, Elsner P
Contact Dermatitis. 2008 May;58(5):299-306.
BACKGROUND: Occupational hand dermatitis (OHD) is a common and often chronic condition. Usage of topical corticosteroids is limited in long-term therapy because of potential side-effects. New treatment options are highly appreciated.
OBJECTIVE: To study efficacy and safety of tacrolimus in patients suffering from OHD.
PATIENTS AND METHODS: In a prospective, open, multicentre study, 29 patients with OHD of predominantly mild-to-moderate severity were treated with tacrolimus ointment (Protopic 0.1%) during a 4-week active treatment period with twice daily application followed by a 2-month optional treatment period. Efficacy was evaluated by the use of a standardized hand eczema score and by clinical severity rating, conducted on all study visits (screening, baseline and weeks 2, 4, 6, and 12). Adverse events were recorded for safety evaluation.
RESULTS: The hand eczema score declined significantly after 2 weeks of treatment compared with baseline and further declined until the end of the study. Finally, 12 (44%) patients were clear of hand eczema. Worsening of the dermatitis occurred in 2 patients (7%). Clinical grading indicated improvement too. Overall tolerability was good.
CONCLUSION: Topical tacrolimus might be an efficacious treatment option for chronic OHD. Blinded and randomized controlled studies are necessary to confirm the results of this pilot study.
Department of Dermatology, Friedrich-Schiller-University, D-07740 Jena, Germany. schliemann@derma.uni-jena.de