Background: African Americans with seborrheic dermatitis may manifest associated hypopigmenation. Corticosteroids and antifungals are often used for treatment, yet chronic use of corticosteroids may be associated with skin atrophy, increased intraocular pressure, or further hypopigmenation. Pimecrolimus has been used successfully in a few patients with seborrheic dermatitis. Objectives: This open-label, pilot trial assessed the efficacy and tolerability of pimecrolimus in the treatment of seborrheic dermatitis in African Americans with hypopigmentation. Methods: Five African American adults with seborrheic dermatitis used a thin layer of pimecrolimus on the involved areas twice per day for 16 weeks. Clinical measures of improvement included erythema, scaling, and pruritus. Hypopigmentation was measured objectively using a mexameter. Results: All participants noted a marked decrease in the severity of their condition. An improvement in hypopigmentation was also noted. For all indicators, the magnitude of improvement was most marked during the initial 2 weeks of treatment. Limitations: This was an open-label pilot trial limited to just 6 participants, only 5 of whom completed the study. Conclusions: Topical pimecrolimus cream may be an excellent alternative therapeutic modality for treating seborrheic dermatitis in African Americans, particularly in those with associated hypopigmentation.
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