Crisaborole (Topical)

Crisaborole is a topical medicine that works by obstructing the performance of particular substances in the human body that cause inflammation on the skin, and subsequently, the symptoms of eczema.


Crisaborole relieves the symptoms of a type of eczema called atopic dermatitis, helping patients attain a blemish-free or almost clear skin within a month or so of using the medication. Several factors, including genetic, immune, and environmental, can cause this chronic inflammatory skin disease. The therapy is FDA-approved.

Patients with both mild and moderate eczema can benefit from using crisaborole, also called Eucrisa. Some of the positive outcomes of the medication include the eradication of itchiness of the skin due to the formation of red bumps with scales and crusts. An itchy skin prompts the patient to scratch, causing effects that crisaborole treats, including swelling and cracking of the skin. The ointment will also repair spots that have become coarse and thicker as a result of the inflammatory disease.

Crisaborole is a phosphodiesterase-4 inhibitor, although the specifics of how precisely the medication works are not yet clear. It is appropriate for 2-year-old children and older as well as adults (eczema can start developing from childhood and progress through adulthood). However, this is a prescription-only medicine that should be used according to specific instructions from the doctor.

Conditions treated

  • Atopic dermatitis (eczema)

Type of medicine

  • Phosphodiesterase 4 inhibitor (PDE-4)

Side effects

Despite its proven therapeutic advantages, crisaborole can cause a range of unfavorable outcomes in a patient using it. Nevertheless, a user may only experience a few of the possible side effects of this medication, in which case they may still need to see their doctor for a practical solution.

Typically, the majority of crisaborole users complain of pain on the spot where they applied the medication. The discomfort may be in the form of a burning or stinging sensation on the skin. Such a side effect is typical and should not worry the patient as it can go away with time. However, if the user experiences unbearable, severe pain on the skin spot where they applied the ointment or any other part of their skin, they should tell their doctor about it.

There are infrequent, but critical crisaborole side effects that demand the attention of a doctor once they occur. For example, not every user of this medication reports swelling or irritation of the skin, but the side effects may indicate an underlying, more significant problem. Similarly, a patient should not take lightly any occurrence of hives, welts, or rashes on the skin while using the eczema ointment.

Though rare, the use of crisaborole may result in cardiac conditions, such as faster heart rates, which are severe enough to warrant the immediate attention of a healthcare practitioner. Trouble swallowing or breathing and redness of the skin are equally critical red flags for anyone using this treatment. Similarly, the discomforts of a swollen face, throat, or tongue after applying Eucrisa may be too much to bear - and dangerous if left untreated.

Crisaborole can have many more side effects depending on different factors, such as any allergies an individual patient may have. So anyone using the medication is encouraged to continue keeping an eye out for any other unfavorable effects that may come up. The only way to avoid unpleasant surprises with the medication involves sharing treatment outcomes with the doctor so that the healthcare giver may intervene and prevent the escalation of potentially dangerous side effects.


Only a qualified and licensed healthcare practitioner can give a patient the right instructions for using crisaborole to treat atopic dermatitis. Usually, the practitioner assesses the condition of their specific patient before working out the right treatment plan for them. The patient may not in any way alter their dosage or revert to manufacturer's instructions on the product label unless their doctor recommends it.

However, a dosing prescription by the doctor and directives from the drug maker are usually the same unless in unique circumstances, such as potential drug interactions or identified crisaborole allergies in a particular patient. In case of side effects, the doctor (not the patient) may adjust the original dosage as needed.

When using topical crisaborole to treat mild to moderate eczema, a prescription of two times every day works for adults and 2-year-old kids and older. The patient has to apply the ointment to the affected skin spot that number of times each day. The medication is not for use on children younger than two years.

The product packaging includes a leaflet with patient information. The patient should review and adhere to the provided insights and seek clarifications from their primary caregiver.

Steps/directives for using the prescribed atopic dermatitis treatment include:

  • style="font-weight: 400;">Using a detergent and water to clean hands before and after application
  • Administering a lean layer of the ointment onto all affected skin spots
  • The patient rubs the medication into their skin gently and thoroughly
  • Not washing hands after use if they are subject to the crisaborole treatment

If a patient forgets or otherwise fails to apply the treatment on schedule, they should compensate for it as soon as possible. However, that does not mean double dosing is appropriate. A patient should just forgo a missed application session if the time for the next planned dose is almost due. Should the patient overdose, they should get in touch with the Poison Control Center by calling 1-800-222-1222 immediately.

Major drug interactions

So far, all indications are that topical crisaborole may not have any known interactions with any other oral or injection medication. Nonetheless, a patient should err on the side of caution by informing their doctor about any other medicines they are using, including nonprescription drugs. The same applies for vitamin supplementation or herbal therapies that an eczema patient may be taking.


A patient who is allergic to crisaborole or any of its ingredients should not use the medication. In case a user experiences any allergic reactions to this treatment, they should let their healthcare giver know without hesitation. Likewise, patients need to share their history of allergies to any other substances, including foods, animals, drugs, chemical additives, and dyes.

Pre-existing medical conditions may impact the use and effectiveness of crisaborole. For example, a patient should alert their atopic dermatitis specialist if they have another skin infection around or near the site of application. Also, applying crisaborole at any point on the skin that suffers wounds, damage, or severe trauma may escalate the conditions. Crisaborole treats only atopic dermatitis, making it critical for a patient to never use it for other skin conditions.

Eucrisa is for topical (external skin) use only, so a patient should not ingest it or apply it to the eyes, nose, or vagina. It is also inappropriate for application on skin areas with cuts, burns, or even scrapes. In case of accidental exposure to those areas, the patient should wash the medication off using clean water, immediately.

Before applying crisaborole, a user should dry the target skin area. They should not in any way cover the infected area after applying the medication, whether using a bandage or any wrapper unless that is what their doctor ordered.

To avoid harming an unborn or breastfeeding child, a patient should notify their doctor if they are pregnant or intend to become pregnant. In case pregnancy comes while the patient is on the atopic dermatitis drug, they should alert their healthcare giver too.


Crisaborole should remain tightly enclosed in the tube it comes in. A sealed or locked prescription drug container, box, or cabinet would be an ideal storage for the eczema medication. At all times, it should be impossible for children to access the drug.

Other proper storage requirements for the ointment include room temperature and protection from heat, direct light, and cold. Still, the user should discuss appropriate drug disposal options with their caregiver once they have stopped using crisaborole. The patient must not keep the medicine beyond its expiry date even if healing has not yet occurred.


Crisaborole is an FDA-approved ointment for treating a type of eczema called atopic dermatitis. The drug helps reverse various symptoms of the skin condition, including itchiness, dryness, and red rushes with scales on the affected skin area. The efficacy of the therapy emanates from its properties as a phosphodiesterase inhibitor, enabling it to stop specific natural substances in the body from causing further inflammation on the skin of a patient.

Patients using crisaborole as prescribed by their doctor may see recovery results in less than 30 days when their skin becomes clear or almost. The ointment does not cause a lot of common side effects, except for the pain in the area of application. Other side effects such as redness of the skin or breathing/swallowing difficulty occur less often and require medical attention when they do.

This is a prescription medication meant for topical use only. A patient should report to their doctor any known allergies as well as medication, herbs, and nutritional supplements they are using before beginning their crisaborole treatment.