The immunosuppressive drug tacrolimus has been shown to be effective in combating atopic dermatitis in children when applied topically.
In a multicenter study, 180 children aged 7 to 16 years were randomized to receive one of three concentrations of tacrolimus or a placebo. All had moderate to severe atopic dermatitis affecting 5% to 30% of their skin surface. They were treated twice a day for up to 22 days, with a 2-week follow-up period. Researchers found that 69% of the children who received the lowest concentration (0.03%), 67% who received an intermediate concentration (0.1%), and 70% who received the highest concentration (0.3%) had marked improvement or clearing of their dermatitis. In comparison, only 38% in the placebo group showed similar improvement.
Voelker R. Atopic Dermatitis "Milestone". JAMA. 1998;280(20):1735. doi:10.1001/jama.280.20.1735