Macrolides in chronic inflammatory skin disorders

Mediators Inflamm. 2012;2012:159354. doi: 10.1155/2012/159354. Epub 2012 May 17.


Long-term therapy with the macrolide antibiotic erythromycin was shown to alter the clinical course of diffuse panbronchiolitis in the late 1980s. Since that time, macrolides have been found to have a large number of anti-inflammatory properties in addition to being antimicrobials. These observations provided the rationale for many studies performed to assess the usefulness of macrolides in other inflammatory diseases including skin and hair disorders, such as rosacea, psoriasis, pityriasis rosea, alopecia areata, bullous pemphigoid, and pityriasis lichenoides. This paper summarizes a collection of clinical studies and case reports dealing with the potential benefits of macrolides antibiotics in the treatment of selected dermatoses which have primarily been classified as noninfectious and demonstrating their potential for being disease-modifying agents.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Macrolides / therapeutic use*
  • Skin Diseases / drug therapy*
  • Skin Diseases / immunology*


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents
  • Macrolides