Discoid lupus erythematosus (DLE), which is an autoimmune inflammatory disorder of the skin, often leads to scarring and alopecia. Current treatment options include topical and systemic glucocorticoids, antimalarial agents, and thalidomide. These treatments are often limited by a lack of efficacy or by adverse effects.
We conducted an open-label pilot study using 0.1% tacrolimus (Protopic) ointment for the treatment of 5 subjects with biopsy-proved DLE. All subjects were receiving stable doses of systemic DLE-directed therapies for at least 4 weeks before study entry and had not applied topical steroids to the treatment area for 4 weeks.
Heffernan MP, Nelson MM, Smith DI, Chung JH. 0.1% Tacrolimus Ointment in the Treatment of Discoid Lupus Erythematosus. Arch Dermatol. 2005;141(9):1170-1171. doi:10.1001/archderm.141.9.1170