An open-label pilot study to evaluate the safety and efficacy of topically applied pimecrolimus cream for the treatment of steroid-induced rosacea-like eruption

C-Y Chu
Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology: JEADV 2007, 21 (4): 484-90

BACKGROUND: Steroid-induced rosacea-like eruption is characterized by facial rosacea-like dermatitis in patients that have been treated with topical steroids for relatively long periods.

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the efficacy and tolerability of 1% pimecrolimus topical cream for steroid-induced rosacea-like eruption.

METHODS: In an open-label pilot study, 40 patients were enrolled and instructed to apply 1% pimecrolimus cream twice daily for 6 weeks. Patients were evaluated by a rosacea clinical score, investigator's global assessment, overall erythema severity, and tolerability at weeks 0, 2, and 6.

RESULTS: In 35 patients, the rosacea clinical score decreased significantly from 16.0+/-4.3 at baseline to 8.1+/-3.3 at week 2 and 4.2+/-2.5 at week 6 (P<0.0001). Investigator's global assessment was 4.1+/-1.1 (baseline), then decreased to 1.4+/-0.8 (week 2) and 0.5+/-0.6 (week 6) (P<0.0001). By week 6, 48.6% of the patients were clear. Overall erythema severity was 2.4+/-0.7 (baseline), 0.9+/-0.4 (week 2), and 0.3+/-0.4 (week 6) (P<0.0001). Cutaneous adverse events (local burning, stinging, and itching) occurred in 17.5%.

CONCLUSION: Pimecrolimus cream might be efficacious, safe, and well tolerated for steroid-induced rosacea-like eruption. The small sample size and open label nature of this study is its limitation. Further double-blind, vehicle-controlled studies are needed.

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