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Facial Flushing from Ethanol Plus Topical Immunomodulator


Ingestion of ethyl alcohol produces flushing at the site of application of topical immunomodulators such as tacrolimus (Protopic—Fujisawa) in about 7% of patients. Aspirin may be useful in attenuating this reaction, which has also been reported during use of topical pimecrolimus (Elidel—Novartis).


Lübbe J, Milingou M. Tacrolimus ointment, alcohol, and facial flushing. N Engl J Med. 2004;351:2740.

Soter NA et al. Tacrolimus ointment for the treatment of atopic dermatitis in adult patients: part II, safety. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2001;44(1 suppl):S39–S46.

Ehst BD, Warshaw EM. Alcohol-induced application site erythema after topical immunomodulator use and its inhibition by aspirin. Arch Dermatol. 2004;140:1014–5.

Milingou M et al. Alcohol intolerance and facial flushing in patients treated with topical tacrolimus. Arch Dermatol. 2004;140:1542–4.