Long-term adverse effects could not be assessed. Improvement of the untreated hand may be the result of compliance with topical emollients. More than 17 uncontrolled studies were identified, claiming a beneficial effect of UV treatment (PUVA or UVB), but there was no comparator in any of the studies.
Two uncontrolled open studies demonstrated limited evidence that oral 9-c/s-retinoic acid and etretinate are effective in chronic hand eczema. We identified only one CCT comparing topical retinoic acid plus corticosteroids against topical steroids, in 18 patients in a double-blind left-right design. There was no statistically significant difference between the modalities.
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