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INTRODUCTION: Atopic dermatitis (AD) is a chronic, relapsing skin disorder, which is characterized by intense pruritus, skin dryness and concomitant epidermal barrier dysfunction. The basic therapy involves the application of anti-inflammatory topical drugs like; glucocorticosteroids and calcineurin inhibitors. Phototherapy in AD is regarded as an additional form of treatment. The latest invention, ultraviolet A1-UVA1 phototherapy (340-400 nm), was introduced to the treatment of AD by Krutmann et al in 1992. It appears that the main mode of action of UVA1 phototherapy in AD is through activation of apoptosis of T lymphocytes. Additionally, new studies show that UVA1 can also inhibit the activity of calcineurin phosphatase, similarly to calcineurin inhibitors such as cyclosporin A or tacrolimus. The aim of this study is to, for the first time, compare the efficacy of medium dose UVA1 phototherapy and tacrolimus ointment in patients with moderate-severe AD.
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