Topical tacrolimus in the management of peristomal pyoderma gangrenosum

J Dermatolog Treat. 2001 Mar;12(1):13-7. doi: 10.1080/095466301750163518.


Background: Peristomal pyoderma gangrenosum (PPG) is a potentially disabling disease in stoma patients. Topical tacrolimus has been shown to be effective in the management of pyoderma gangrenosum. Unfortunately, greasy topical treatments may be impractical for PPG because of impaired appliance adhesion.

Objective: The purpose of this open study was to evaluate the therapeutic effectiveness of topical tacrolimus 0.3% formulated in carmellose sodium paste compared with topical corticosteroid preparations in the management of PPG.

Results: A total of 11 patients with PPG received treatment with topical tacrolimus 0.3% in Orabase trade mark and 13 with topical clobetasol propionate 0.05% as monotherapy in each case. Seven of the tacrolimus-treated group healed completely (mean time to healing: 5.1 weeks) compared with five of the clobetasol propionate-treated group (mean time to healing: 6.5 weeks). Topical tacrolimus was significantly more effective than clobetasol propionate in managing larger PPG lesions (ulcer diameter > 2 cm). In six patients, who had failed to respond adequately to multiple systemic and topical treatments for PPG, the addition of topical tacrolimus was associated with healing of PPG within 6 weeks.

Conclusion: These results suggest that topical tacrolimus 0.3% in Orabase trade mark is a more effective and expeditious treatment than clobetasol propionate 0.05% for PPG. It is significantly more effective than clobetasol propionate 0.05% in managing lesions larger than 2 cm in diameter. Topical tacrolimus may be highly effective when other systemic or topical treatments have been unsuccessful.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Abdomen
  • Administration, Topical
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / administration & dosage
  • Clobetasol / administration & dosage
  • Clobetasol / analogs & derivatives*
  • Glucocorticoids
  • Humans
  • Immunosuppressive Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Pyoderma Gangrenosum / drug therapy*
  • Tacrolimus / administration & dosage*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Wound Healing / drug effects


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents
  • Glucocorticoids
  • Immunosuppressive Agents
  • Clobetasol
  • Tacrolimus