Objectives/Hypothesis: To understand the role and efficacy of topical pimecrolimus in the treatment of refractory pruritis of the external auditory canals (EACs).
Study Design: Retrospective chart review.
Methods: Thirty-six patients with pruritic EACs who had failed conventional therapy with topical and systemic medications were treated with topical pimecrolimus 1% for a period of 3 months. Baseline and follow-up evaluation of the degree of pruritis among other variables was performed. A control group of 19 patients was instructed on aural toilet alone and was not treated with topical pimecrolimus 1%.
Results: Of the 36 patients who were treated with topical pimecrolimus for their pruritic EACs, 34 patients had resolution of their symptoms. There was evidence of return of cerumen production in 86% of patients. In the control group, 16% of patients had improvement of their symptoms with aural toilet. This difference was statistically significant (χ2, P < .0001).
Conclusions: Topical pimecrolimus appears to be more efficacious than aural toilet in the treatment of pruritic ears for chronic use without side effects.