Topical Clofibrate Improves Symptoms of Atopic Dermatitis


Fukaya M, Kimata H.


Though topical corticosteroids (TC) are used for treating atopic dermatitis (AD) as a standard, there exist several problems including topical steroid addiction (TSA) or Red skin syndrome. Moreover, the number of patients, who refrain from using TC because of steroid-phobia, is increasing. Recently, topical PPAR alpha ligand application has been reported to improve experimental allergic dermatitis. The purpose of this study was to investigate the short-term efficacy and safety of topical clofibrate, one of PPAR alpha ligand, in such steroid-phobic patients with AD.


This study was conducted as a double-blind design to investigate the effects of random administration of topical clofibrate and base (placebo) on skin manifestation and blood parameters of patients for 2 weeks. Severity was digitized using severity scoring systems for atopic dermatitis by the Japanese Dermatological Association (SSS-JDA) before and after two weeks. Subjective severity of patients was evaluated using visual analog scale (Pt-VAS). Serum thymus and activation-regulated chemokine (TARC) and immunoglobulin E (IgE) were also investigated.


Twenty patients were enrolled, and 19 of 20 patients completed the study. In 19 patients, the value of severity score using SSS-JDA was decreased significantly after administration of topical clofibrate (P=0.001). Subjective evaluation using Pt-VAS (P=0.008) and serum TARC levels (P=0.03) were also significantly decreased after two weeks of topical clofibrate. There was not a significant difference in serum IgE levels. No adverse effect was observed.


Topical clofibrate is useful for patients with AD especially who are reluctant to use topical steroids.