Bilateral comparison study of pimecrolimus cream 1% and a ceramide-hyaluronic acid emollient foam in the treatment of patients with atopic dermatitis

J Drugs Dermatol. 2011 Jun;10(6):666-72.


Topical corticosteroids have been the mainstay of treatment for atopic dermatitis (AD) over the last decade, especially in the setting of acute flares. However, heavy and prolonged use of topical corticosteroid is undesirable as it is associated with side effects such as, skin atrophy, telangiectasia, striae, steroid-induced dermatoses, rosacea, acne exacerbation, and in some severe and rare cases, systemic effects such as hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis suppression, growth retardation and ocular problems. Non-steroidal ant-inflammatory agents specific for the treatment of AD (topical calcineurin inhibitors, or TCIs) are now available and they are a viable alternative to topical corticosteroids in treating dermatitis of the face, neck, eyelids, and intertriginous areas where there is a greater risk of the steroid-induced side effects. More recently, medical device emollients have entered the marketplace. These medical devices provide, but are not limited to, anti-oxidant, anti-protease, anti-inflammatory activity, and aid in restoring the natural balance of lipids, which is one of the causes of the epidermal abnormalities seen with AD. The present study evaluated the short-term effectiveness and appeal of a non-steroidal medicated device foam as compared to pimecrolimus cream 1% in the treatment of AD within a wide age group of subjects with active disease at baseline. In this study, both pimecrolimus and the medical device foam exhibited efficacy in mild-to-moderate AD. Primary efficacy was measured by IGA. After four weeks of treatment with the medical device foam, 82% of target lesions were scored "clear" (0) or "almost clear" (1) compared to 71% of target lesions under the pimecrolimus arm. This study confirmed that pimecrolimus cream 1% and the medical device foam work well in the treatment of AD in both adults and children with no associated adverse effects.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Cutaneous
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal / administration & dosage
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal / adverse effects
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal / therapeutic use
  • Ceramides / administration & dosage
  • Ceramides / adverse effects
  • Ceramides / therapeutic use*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Dermatitis, Atopic / drug therapy*
  • Dermatitis, Atopic / pathology
  • Dermatologic Agents / administration & dosage
  • Dermatologic Agents / adverse effects
  • Dermatologic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Drug Combinations
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Hyaluronic Acid / administration & dosage
  • Hyaluronic Acid / adverse effects
  • Hyaluronic Acid / therapeutic use*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Single-Blind Method
  • Tacrolimus / administration & dosage
  • Tacrolimus / adverse effects
  • Tacrolimus / analogs & derivatives*
  • Tacrolimus / therapeutic use
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Young Adult


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal
  • Ceramides
  • Dermatologic Agents
  • Drug Combinations
  • pimecrolimus
  • Hyaluronic Acid
  • Tacrolimus