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A randomized, double-blind, vehicle-controlled study of 1% pimecrolimus cream in adult patients with perioral dermatitis.

BACKGROUND: Perioral dermatitis (POD) is a common dermatosis without standard therapy.

OBJECTIVE: We sought to evaluate pimecrolimus cream 1% in POD.

METHODS: We conducted a multicenter, randomized, double-blind, parallel-group study in adult patients with POD treated twice daily with pimecrolimus cream 1% or vehicle until clearance for up to 4 weeks. Follow-up took place 4 and 8 weeks after treatment.

RESULTS: Patients treated with pimecrolimus had an average POD Severity Index score of 2.6 compared with 3.5 for patients treated with vehicle. Both groups had baseline scores of 5.2. The between-group difference was 0.9 (95% confidence level 0.4, 1.4, P = .0011). Patients with history of topical corticosteroids benefited most. Pimecrolimus-treated patients reported greater improvement in quality of life. There were no group differences regarding safety.

LIMITATIONS: Pimecrolimus vehicle is not a true placebo.

CONCLUSIONS: Pimecrolimus rapidly improves clinical symptoms and quality of life of patients with POD, being most effective in corticosteroid-induced POD.

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