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J Dtsch Dermatol Ges. 2012 Mar;10(3):180-4. doi: 10.1111/j.1610-0387.2011.07787.x. Epub 2011 Sep 17.

Topical therapy of hand eczema - analysis of the prescription profile from dermatologists in private practice.

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Department of Dermatology, Venereology and Allergology, Charité Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Germany IMS Health GmbH & Co. OHG, Frankfurt, Germany.



Chronic hand eczema (CHE) is a common dermatological disease. Due to different etiologies, severity levels, and high therapy costs, it presents a challenge for dermatologists. Nowadays, it is recommended that treatment be adapted to the severity of the disease. According to the guidelines on the management of hand eczema, topical corticosteroids are the first-line therapy for hand eczema.


The present study investigated the prescription profile of topical treatments. Data sets from 13 191 patients with hand eczema were analyzed.


The results indicate that topical corticosteroids are frequently prescribed for the treatment of hand eczema. Corticosteroid treatment (72.6 %) was most commonly prescribed by private practice physicians. Betamethasone was the most frequently prescribed, but other substances such as mometasone furoate, prednicarbate, clobetasol, and methylprednisolone aceponate were often prescribed as well.


The results show that the concept of the risk-to-benefit ratio is reflected by the prescription profile of topical corticosteroids (therapeutic index). However, even corticosteroids with a less favorable therapeutic index are sometimes prescribed, perhaps due to economic reasons.

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