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J Am Acad Dermatol. 2004 Sep;51(3):407-10.

Pimecrolimus 1% cream for cutaneous lupus erythematosus.

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Department of Dermatology and Allergology, Ruhr-University Bochum, Germany.


Topical treatment of cutaneous lupus erythematosus usually includes potent glucocorticosteroids. However, prolonged use causes adverse side effects including skin atrophy as the foremost concern. In contrast to glucocorticosteroids, the anti-inflammatory and immunosuppressive macrolactam pimecrolimus has no atrophogenic potential. Affected areas of 11 patients with different forms of lupus erythematosus were treated with pimecrolimus 1% cream under semiocclusive conditions twice daily for 3 weeks. Skin involvement before and after therapy was assessed by means of a clinical score. In all patients, significant regression of skin lesions was observed after therapy (P <.001). This was an open and uncontrolled study on a limited number of cases. We suggest that pimecrolimus 1% cream could be an efficacious and safe treatment option for cutaneous lupus erythematosus.

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