Introduction: Local adverse effects of steroid use and the burning sensation of calcineurin inhibitors impair patients’ adherence to treatment and decrease the treatment response in atopic dermatitis (AD). Steroid phobia appears to be a psychological problem in patients with AD. Topical non-steroidal remedies are in demand. Areas covered: This manuscript reviews the current literature on preclinical and clinical studies regarding topical E6005/RVT-501, a novel phosphodiesterase 4 inhibitor. We also discuss the mechanistic background of E6005/RVT-501 in the treatment of AD. Expert opinion: Topical E6005/RVT-501 improves skin eruption and pruritus of pediatric and adult AD patients without any serious side effects. It is useful for mild to moderate lesions of AD in pediatric and adult patients. Topical E6005/RVT-501 is non-steroidal agent but its potency is equal to that of mild rank topical steroid, therefore, it may fit the demand of patients with steroid phobia. Its steroid-sparing effects may also be investigated in future clinical trials and may minimize the dose and frequency of topical steroids.
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