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Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology
Volume 54, n° 6
pages 1083-1088 (juin 2006)
Doi : 10.1016/j.jaad.2006.01.011

Pilot trial of 1% pimecrolimus cream in the treatment of seborrheic dermatitis in African American adults with associated hypopigmentation

Whitney A. High, MD a, , Amit G. Pandya, MD b
a From the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center 
b University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center. Completed as part of Dr High’s residency requirements at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center 

Reprint requests: Whitney A. High, MD, University Dermatopathology Associates, University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, PO Box 6510, Mail Stop F703, Denver, CO 80045-0510.

Denver, Colorado, and Dallas, Texas


African Americans with seborrheic dermatitis may manifest associated hypopigmenation. Corticosteroids and antifungals are often used for treatment, yet chronic use of corticosteroids may be associated with skin atrophy, increased intraocular pressure, or further hypopigmenation. Pimecrolimus has been used successfully in a few patients with seborrheic dermatitis.


This open-label, pilot trial assessed the efficacy and tolerability of pimecrolimus in the treatment of seborrheic dermatitis in African Americans with hypopigmentation.


Five African American adults with seborrheic dermatitis used a thin layer of pimecrolimus on the involved areas twice per day for 16 weeks. Clinical measures of improvement included erythema, scaling, and pruritus. Hypopigmentation was measured objectively using a mexameter.


All participants noted a marked decrease in the severity of their condition. An improvement in hypopigmentation was also noted. For all indicators, the magnitude of improvement was most marked during the initial 2 weeks of treatment.


This was an open-label pilot trial limited to just 6 participants, only 5 of whom completed the study.


Topical pimecrolimus cream may be an excellent alternative therapeutic modality for treating seborrheic dermatitis in African Americans, particularly in those with associated hypopigmentation.

The full text of this article is available in PDF format.

 Supported by departmental resources at University of Texas Southwestern (UTSW) for resident-derived research projects. During the same fiscal year, the UTSW Department of Dermatology did receive a $2500.00 unrestricted educational grant from Novartis Pharmaceuticals Inc.
Disclosure: Dr Pandya is on the speaker bureau for Novartis Pharmaceuticals Inc.

© 2006  American Academy of Dermatology, Inc.@@#104156@@