Alitretinoin for the treatment of severe chronic hand eczema - guidance (TA177)

National Institute for Health and Care Excellence - NICE
Publication date:
26 August 2009


Alitretinoin is recommended as a possible treatment for people with severe chronic hand eczema if:

  • their eczema has not improved with treatments called potent topical corticosteroids and
  • standard assessments show that their eczema is severe and is affecting their quality of life.

Alitretinoin treatment should be stopped:

  • as soon as the eczema has clearly improved or
  • if the eczema remains severe after 12 weeks or
  • if the eczema has not clearly improved after 24 weeks.

Treatment with alitretinoin should be started and monitored only by doctors who:

  • are skin specialists (dermatologists) or
  • have experience in both treating people with severe chronic hand eczema and using drugs like alitretinoin.

When assessing how a person’s eczema affects their quality of life, healthcare professionals should take into account any disabilities or difficulties in communicating which might mean that the standard assessments do not provide accurate information.