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Elidel Elidel Review

Reviewing: Novartis Elidel  |  Rating:
katwalker By katwalker on
Badge: Author | Level: 3 | Treatments Expertise:
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Elidel is a topical prescription-only cream that is approved for the treatment of eczema. It also is being prescribed more and more often for seborrheic dermatitis (off-label). It is one of the new family of steroid-free topical medications for eczema.

Elidel, unfortunately, is probably best known by laypersons right now as that stuff that got a "black box" warning label slapped on it because of some preliminary evidence suggesting that it may cause cancer. I say "unfortunately" because this stuff has been a godsend for me and I've seen many people shy away from it because of the cancer warnings. While possible side effects must always be considered and discussed with one's doctor, I would strongly urge anyone with chronic eczema or seborrheic dermatitis (other than on the scalp) to discuss Elidel's pros and cons with his doctor.

For one thing, the only other medically approved (emu oil works well, though it doesn't have all those pharmaceutical company studies behind it to say so) way to treat eczema is topical steroids. While topical steroids are fine for short-term use, it is well established that long-term use of topical steroids thins the skin. In fact, chronic topical steroid use on the face can induce a very painful and embarassing rosacea flushing episode. I speak from experience. So, if you have eczema on the face, Elidel is a good choice.

Also, as I stated earlier, Elidel is being prescribed off-label for treatment of seborrheic dermatitis on areas other than the scalp. The other medical treatments for seb derm are currently topical steroids (see above paragraph for problems with topical steroids) and topical anti-fungals. If the topical anti-fungals work for you, great, as they've been around for a long time and the long-term side effects are well established. However, they don't seem to work for everyone, which makes Elidel a good choice.

I cannot stress this enough: talk with your doctor about Elidel's benefits and possible side effects! Besides the possibility of cancer, the effects of continous long term use have not been established. Also, as my dermatologist pointed out, Ellidel doesn't work so well on parts of the body other than the face due to other body parts having thicker skin. Elidel also increases your skin's sensitivity to the sun (i.e., you may sunburn more easily).

That being said, Elidel is the only thing that has controlled my facial seb derm/eczema. I also recommended it to a friend who has seb derm on his face, and it totally controls it for him. I've used it continously for several years now and my friends has used it for about a year. It is definately something to look into with your doctor if you have chronic eczema or seb derm.