ABSTRACT: The topical calcineurin inhibitors (TCIs) pimecrolimus and tacrolimus are approved for atopic dermatitis but have additional potential in other inflammatory skin diseases. This article reviews their clinical use in non-atopic dermatitis diseases. In seborrheic dermatitis, asteatotic eczema, and contact dermatitis, TCIs are of great benefit and can compete with topical corticosteroids. In psoriasis, TCIs have shown clinical efficacy and safety in facial and intertriginous lesions. Further investigations into possible combinations of TCIs with other established treatments such as UVB irradiation in this disorder are necessary. Initial studies in cutaneous lupus erythematosus have been promising, whereas the response in rosacea and rosacea-like eruptions has been mixed. TCIs have been associated with good clinical responses in oral lichen planus and anogenital lichen sclerosus et atrophicus. In vitiligo, TCIs are associated with some degree of repigmentation, with better results being seen in children and in facial and neck areas. TCIs have a synergistic effect with UVB irradiation in vitiligo. There is a long list of small series and case reports documenting use of TCIs in various other skin conditions that warrant further validation. Although the established mode of action of TCIs is T-cell control, other effects also need to be considered. Specifically, TCIs reduce pruritus and erythema, which cannot be explained by T-cell interactions, and further investigations are needed in these fields.
American Journal of Clinical Dermatology 02/2007; 8(3):157-73. · 1.71 Impact Factor