Topical tacrolimus for the treatment of psoriasis on the face, genitalia, intertriginous areas and corporal plaques

J Drugs Dermatol. 2006 Apr;5(4):334-6.


Tacrolimus is an immunosuppressive drug that has proved effective in the treatment of psoriasis when administered systemically. Topically, it seems only useful in thin psoriasis plaques located on the face, genitalia, and intertriginous areas. We present an open-label clinical trial to test the efficacy of 0.1% tacrolimus ointment in patients with psoriasis on the face, intertriginous areas, both, and in corporal plaques. Efficacy was assessed with the evaluation of erythema, desquamation, infiltration, reduction of the PASI, and reduction of itching. A total of 15 patients were enrolled in the study. In all the localizations evaluated, each of the signs (erythema, desquamation, and infiltration) showed a statistically significant improvement when compared to the baseline (p < .001). Itching also improved rapidly. PASI was also reduced from a mean of 12 at baseline to 2.2 at the end of the study. Of the 15 patients, only 2 experienced an adverse effect (13%), which was described as a warm sensation in facial lesions which was transient and self-limited. In conclusion, tacrolimus ointment may be an alternative to classical options for the treatment of psoriasis, not only for intertriginous, genital, and facial areas, but also for corporal plaques without occlusion, with good tolerance.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Elbow
  • Erythema / drug therapy
  • Erythema / pathology
  • Facial Dermatoses / drug therapy
  • Female
  • Genitalia / drug effects
  • Genitalia / pathology
  • Humans
  • Immunosuppressive Agents / administration & dosage
  • Immunosuppressive Agents / therapeutic use
  • Intertrigo / drug therapy
  • Lumbosacral Region
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Ointments
  • Psoriasis / drug therapy*
  • Psoriasis / pathology*
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Skin / drug effects*
  • Skin / pathology
  • Tacrolimus / administration & dosage
  • Tacrolimus / therapeutic use*
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Immunosuppressive Agents
  • Ointments
  • Tacrolimus