Topical immunomodulators in dermatology

J Postgrad Med. Apr-Jun 2004;50(2):131-9.

Abstract

Topical immunomodulators are agents that regulate the local immune response of the skin. They are now emerging as the therapy of choice for several immune-mediated dermatoses such as atopic dermatitis, contact allergic dermatitis, alopecia areata, psoriasis, vitiligo, connective tissue disorders such as morphea and lupus erythematosus, disorders of keratinization and several benign and malignant skin tumours, because of their comparable efficacy, ease of application and greater safety than their systemic counterparts. They can be used on a domiciliary basis for longer periods without aggressive monitoring. In this article, we have discussed the mechanism of action, common indications and side-effects of the commonly used topical immunomodulators, excluding topical steroids. Moreover, newer agents, which are still in the experimental stages, have also been described. A MEDLINE search was undertaken using the key words "topical immunomodulators, dermatology" and related articles were also searched. In addition, a manual search for many Indian articles, which are not indexed, was also carried out. Wherever possible, the full article was reviewed. If the full article could not be traced, the abstract was used.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Topical
  • Dermatologic Agents / pharmacology*
  • Dermatologic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Immunologic Factors / pharmacology*
  • Immunologic Factors / therapeutic use
  • Skin Diseases / drug therapy*

Substances

  • Dermatologic Agents
  • Immunologic Factors