Alitretinoin is the only systemic agent approved for the treatment of severe chronic hand eczema (CHE) unresponsive to potent topical corticosteroids. Clinical trials have shown the efficacy of oral alitretinoin with topical emollients for CHE treatment, but most studies have failed to reach a therapeutic success rate of 50%. Reasonably, we thought it would be more effective to combine topical corticosteroids with oral alitretinoin, but the concomitant use of topical corticosteroids has not been studied yet. One-hundred and seven Korean patients diagnosed with CHE were recruited. The participants were divided into two groups depending on the concomitant use of topical corticosteroids. Comparative analysis was performed between the combined therapy (alitretinoin and topical corticosteroids) and monotherapy groups (alitretinoin only) by using physician global assessment (PGA), patient's global assessment (PaGA), modified total lesion symptom score (mTLSS), and recurrence rates. The combined therapy group showed a significantly higher treatment success rate than the alitretinoin monotherapy group for all efficacy parameters (PGA: P < 0.001, PaGA: P < 0.001, mTLSS changes: P < 0.001), but there was no significant difference in recurrence rates between the groups (P = 0.266). Combined use of topical corticosteroids is recommended for CHE patients being treated with oral alitretinoin due to clinically rapid and superior effectiveness.
- chronic hand eczema
- topical corticosteroids