Published: 2019-01-25

The role of topical tacrolimus in adherence to antifungal therapy in recalcitrant tinea incognito: a preliminary non randomised controlled study

Ajay Kumar, Kalyani Deshmukh, Mahendra Singh Deora


Background: The dropout of outpatients on antifungal therapy for recalcitrant tinea incognito is attributable to the flare on withdrawal of topical corticosteroids and the virulence of pathogens. The objective of the study was to evaluate the role of topical tacrolimus in adherence to antifungal therapy in recalcitrant tinea incognito.

Methods: 28 cases of topical corticosteroid induced tinea incognito of more than 6 months duration were enrolled and topical and systemic antifungal therapy instituted for 8 weeks. Topical tacrolimus was also instituted in the test cohort. The end point for resolution was the absence of raised margins, erythema, induration and scaling.

Results: 17 patients were male while 11 were female and their age ranged from 16-45 years (mean 26.5). Two patients were from upper-middle; 5 from lower-middle and 21 from upper-lower socioeconomic class. Their occupations included shop assistants, security guards, drivers and labourers and the duration of illness ranged from 7-36 months. Topical corticosteroids were obtained on prescription by 5 and over the counter by 23 patients. Out of the test cohort of 14, all lesions had resolved in 10 patients who had adhered to therapy and were reviewed at the end of 8 and 10 weeks. While 5 reported burning on application of tacrolimus 1 developed folliculitis. Out of the control cohort of 14, though 5 had adhered to therapy all lesions had resolved only in 3 patients at the end of 8 and 10 weeks.

Conclusions: Topical tacrolimus facilitates adherence to antifungal therapy in recalcitrant tinea incognito.


Recalcitrant tinea incognito, Adherence, Topical tacrolimus

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