Your healthcare provider may recommend using Elidel to help relieve the symptoms of mild-to-moderate atopic dermatitis. It works by suppressing an overactive immune system, making it less active. Elidel is approved for use in adults and children as young as two years old. It can also sometimes be used for off-label reasons, such as treating psoriasis and vitiligo.
What Is Elidel Used For?Elidel® (pimecrolimus) is a prescription medication approved for the treatment of mild-to-moderate atopic dermatitis (eczema). It is a topical medication designed for people who cannot use certain other medications, or whose symptoms are not adequately controlled by other medications.
Atopic dermatitis is a type of skin rash that causes the skin to become dry, itchy, and inflamed. The condition is often commonly called eczema, which is a general term that refers to skin inflammation from a number of different causes. Atopic dermatitis is the most common type of eczema.
Atopic dermatitis can affect any area of the skin, but most commonly occurs on the face, inside the elbows, behind the knees, and on the hands and feet. The most common symptoms include:
- Skin that appears red and scaly
- Skin that is thick and leathery
- Small raised bumps that may ooze fluid or crust over
- Itching, which may be more severe at night.
Most people with atopic dermatitis will experience periods when their symptoms are worse, or "flares," alternating with periods when the skin appears normal or has minimal symptoms. Many things can trigger atopic dermatitis flares, including irritants that contact the skin, such as certain fabrics, soaps, or perfumes, or allergens in the air, such as pollens or molds. Specific triggers can vary widely from person to person.
(Click What Makes Atopic Dermatitis Worse? for more information about possible triggers.)
Elidel is used to treat the symptoms of atopic dermatitis for short periods. The medication should be stopped once symptoms have subsided, but can be used again after a break in treatment. Elidel is only approved for use in people who otherwise have a healthy immune system.