Background: Patients with atopic dermatitis benefit from treatment with crude coal tar. We started a program for the treatment of patients with atopic dermatitis in an out-patient facility using intermittent applications of crude coal tar. Objective: To study the efficacy and feasibility of an out-patient regimen using crude coal tar in atopic dermatitis. Methods: We treated 18 patients in the out-patient setting. A trained nurse and after thorough instruction the patients themselves at home applied crude coal tar in a zinc paste 2 or 3 times a week. We studied the improvement by visual scoring and compared the results with patients treated with daily applications at the in-patient department. Results: The improvement was comparable at the end of the treatment period for both settings. The treatment period, however, was longer for the patients treated in the out-patient setting. Conclusion: The out-patient programme proved to be an efficacious and a well-appreciated approach.

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