Psoriasis topical treatments: topical calcineurin inhibitors e.g. Protopic (tacrolimus)

A few people had used topical calcineurin inhibitors, such as Protopic (tacrolimus) and Elidel (pimecrolimus). These creams don’t contain steroids, but some people confused them with being one. Calcineurin inhibitors are an immunosuppressant which means they work by reducing the activity of the immune system and reducing inflammation.

One benefit of calcineurin inhibitors is that they can be safely used on the face, although this is an ‘off-label’ use (this refers to when clinical trials have not been done to check that the medicine is safe and effective for the use). Lucy and Ella used tacrolimus creams on their faces and had topical steroids for psoriasis on the rest of the body.

Jack has noticed an improvement since being prescribed Protopic (tacrolimus) by his GP with a special interest in skin conditions.

Age at interview 24

Gender Male

Age at diagnosis 20

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Sometimes people found calcineurin inhibitor creams could be itchy to use at first, but this usually stopped after using it for a few days.

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