What is Elidel?
Elidel cream contains the active ingredient pimecrolimus, which is a type of medicine called a skin-selective inflammatory cytokine inhibitor. It works by stopping white blood cells in the skin from producing inflammatory chemicals called cytokines. Elidel cream relieves skin problems such as itching, scaling, redness and swelling. The cream can be used on the whole body, including the face. Elidel cream is only available on prescription.
What is Elidel cream used for?
This medicine is used to treat various skin conditions such as:
- Eczema (itchy rash, with symptoms ranging in severity from mild itching, dryness and bumps to severe blistering and cracked and/or swollen skin);
- Psoriasis (skin disease resulting from the excessive growth of deep-layer skin with red, swollen patches, scaling and/or itching);
- Lichen sclerosus (skin condition that most often affects the genital area with itchy, painful white skin patches).
Elidel cream may be used when topical corticosteroids have not been effective or when they should not be used. Elidel reduces swelling, inflammation and itching, allowing the skin to heal.
How to use Elidel cream
Apply the cream thinly to affected areas of skin and rub in well. Do not cover the area being treated with airtight dressings such as bandages or plasters. Wash hands thoroughly after applying the cream and avoid contact with the eyes and mucous membranes. If your symptoms have not improved after a few weeks, talk to your doctor. You should stop using Elidel cream as soon as the skin problem is better. Elidel cream should be applied at the first signs of a flare-up (redness and itching of the skin), as this can help prevent progression to more severe flare-ups.
Unless otherwise advised by a doctor, the usual dose is:
- Adults and children aged two and above: a thin layer applied to the affected areas, twice daily.
Elidel cream is not suitable for children under the age of two. Do not exceed the prescribed dose and read the package leaflet before use.
Elidel cream may cause side effects, including:
- A transient burning sensation following application. This sensation generally disappears after several days of treatment;
- Skin irritation (itching, scaling, redness) at the application site;
- Increased sensitivity of the skin to UV light. Avoid exposure to direct sunlight and sunbeds.
Consult a doctor if these or other side effects are severe. For more information on possible side effects, see the package leaflet.
When not to use Elidel
Elidel cream is not suitable for everyone and should not be used if:
- You are allergic to pimecrolimus are any other ingredient in this medicine;
- Areas of the skin are affected by viral infections such as cold sores or chicken pox;
- You are pregnant.
Consult a doctor before using Elidel cream if you have a bacterial skin infection, fungal skin infection or are currently taking medication.
Elidel cream is not suitable for use in pregnant women. Seek medical advice from your doctor prior to use if you are breastfeeding.
This medicine does not affect your ability to drive safely.
Elidel cream can make the skin more sensitive to alcohol. You may experience skin irritation or flushing (attacks of redness of the skin together with a sensation of warmth) after drinking alcohol. Avoid drinking alcohol while using this medicine.